back on the world wide web

it has been nearly two years since i last wrote and much has changed. for instance, many of the links on the right side of this page now lead to area code 404. in addition, blogging seems to have lost much of its vigor; all the cool kids seem to be instagramming and twittering and twerking. i have an extremely loose grasp on what those terms actually mean. all in all, it seems that much has changed in the world that is the “world wide web.” coming back to the wordpress site is like re-visiting the neighborhood you grew up in. everything seemed larger to you when you were a young child. now things seems vaguely familiar and yet, not.

do people still say “surfing the world wide web?” i’m going to start saying it. maybe i’ll start calling that one of my hobbies when engaging in small talk and feigning interest in other people.

November 27, 2013 at 6:21 pm 1 comment

on coffee, the army, and 2012

i do enjoy a cup of good coffee. in fact, i’m sipping on a cup right now as i write this and it is absolutely sublime. coffee lubricates my mind like oil in an engine and without it, i am just a hollow shell of myself.

some people take their love of coffee to the extreme. their coffee comes in fancy bags promising that no baby polar bears were clubbed to death during manufacture, they weigh their coffee beans on digital scales to the tenth of a gram, and they monitor their water temperature to ensure the “optimal brew.” most of us coffee drinkers laugh or even scorn these coffee geeks. after all, part of coffee’s appeal is its humility as it quietly does its job, day after day, without fuss or complaining.

but in this new year, i’ve come to understand the coffee geek. they seek the obscure, hidden knowledge that most people can’t be bothered with. their pursuit makes them, for a few minutes in a day, experts in something, however trivial that something may be. when everyone on average is average (by definition of the word), being an expert is a good feeling.

coffee geeks are just one manifestation of how people long to stand out and be special. how many of our daily struggles arise from our quests to differentiate ourselves from the pack? hunting that next promotion, tedious exercise, obsessively chasing knowledge, education and suffixes to names – people no longer subscribe to the u.s. army’s slogan of “be all you can be”…people now want to be even more.

so what does that mean for the new year? i think i’ll let the the over-achievers achieve their achievements. i’ll smile and wave to them as they hunt their elusive prey. i hope that they find what they are looking for and that it makes them happy. i suspect that it will not. as for me, i’ll immerse myself in the present, which at the present, is a cup of coffee.

drat, it’s gone cold.

January 2, 2012 at 2:52 pm 4 comments

when life gives you basil…

…make a cocktail!

this cocktail is a combination of a bee’s knees and a gin basil smash. i’m not sure what to call it. smashed bees? gin basil knees?

nyum nyum nyum nyum

3 parts gin
2 parts honey syrup (equal mix of honey and water)
1 part lemon juice
2 sprigs of basil (i used red basil because i had  8 pounds leftover after cooking with it. why does basil come in 10 pound bunches?)

anyway, muddle your basil in the gin. mash it up real good. your gin will turn green and that is a good thing. pour green gin and basil in an old fashioned glass filled with ice and add the remaining ingredients. stir until cold (like…1 full minute) and enjoy!

October 20, 2011 at 2:03 am 1 comment

on pork rinds and undershirts

everyone on the internet is an expert on something, aren’t they?

you can find grammar gurus who will point out that “everyone” is a singular pronoun and that my previous sentence should have ended with “isn’t he?” then you will have word usage nazis who will defend my usage of “they” by saying that my sentence has the best flow the way i wrote it.

if you find the need, you can reach out to connoisseurs of fine fabrics on the internet to assist you in finding the right drapes for you house. or you could get advice from running shoe buffs who know exactly the best sneaker to buy based on your weight, height, stride, and running surface.

you can experts in more obscure topics as well. a few that i found included pork rinds, wedgies, angry birds, and undershirts.

doubting the legitimacy of that last alleged “expert” on undershirts (could such a person really exist? i pondered) i recently decided to conduct my own little undershirt experiment. i have been wearing the same god-awful undershirts for the last few years. by now, they have all stretched out of shape with one end indistinguishable from the other and the armpits all stained grey. was my undershirt a function of my bankrupt personal hygiene? or was it a function of my frugality in buying the cheapest undershirts i could find?

for my experiment, i have purchased 3 Hanes undershirts ($7.50/3 shirts) and 3 Tommy Hilfiger undershirts ($15/3 shirts), which as you can see, are neatly double the cost of the Hanes. both shirts are 100% cotton. below are the parameters of the 6 month study:

– remove all other undershirts from “circulation” until completion of study
– Hanes and Tommy Hilfiger undershirts will be worn an alternating weekdays underneath my work uniform
– the same deodorant/antiperspirant will be used with each day’s wear
– launder all 6 shirts simulatenously in the same wash cycle (cold), and air dry
– tide cold-water detergent will be used for this study, no bleach

the results i am most interested in are:

– how white the shirt stays
– overall shape retention
– neck hole integrity
– fabric durability

check back in 6 months to see the results! i can tell that you are all just bursting with the same excitement i share.

August 7, 2011 at 2:30 pm Leave a comment


i’ve been meaning to check out char-grill for a while and today, i finally drove past it and decided to go in with a friend. when i say go in, i actually mean say outside since there is no indoor eating area. you just sort of walk up to the window and order using an order slip.

the burgers are easy to order because there aren’t many options to select from. you can have cheese, catsup, mustard, or onions. i liked the simplicity actually; burgers these days are overwrought with aioli, bone barrow, and other strange ingredients that restaurants use as an excuse to charge you $20 for a burger, which was intended as a simple food. its also fun to see your patty being cooked over huge flames:

the burger itself reminded me of a good burger that one might eat at a friend’s bar-b-q:

the bun was soft but firm and the meat itself was well seasoned. however, the patty was a little on a overcooked side. for $2 though, it was pretty good! the next time i go, i will definitely ask for a less well-done burger.

May 21, 2011 at 11:03 pm Leave a comment

nobody ever suspects…

i took this photograph at the university of florida museum of natural history:

it was my first time in gainesville, FL and i had a great time visiting my fiancée’s alma mater. on campus, there is a bat house where bats roost. i’m not sure if “roost” is the right word here. at dusk, they all wake up at the same time and leave the house to go hunting. hunting for jokers maybe.

all in all, quite the incredible weekend.

May 1, 2011 at 3:29 am 1 comment

dream job

after i get out of pharmaceuticals, i really want to start my own business. the plan is to open up a shop somewhere in the city. what would i sell?


that way, when a friend asks me “how’s business?” i could respond with:

“amazing! they’re selling like hotcakes!”

March 8, 2011 at 4:08 am Leave a comment

missing the miso

miso soup is easy to make, high in protein, and high in naturally occuring msg. this means it is fast, nutritious, and delicious. you will need, from left to right, katsobushi, miso paste (any color you like), kombu, tofu (silken or soft), and green scallions (not shown).

first things first, the dashi. place a few strips of the kombu in 2 quarts of cold water in a large pot to rehydrate it. after 30 min, turn the heat up until you start to see bubbles. kombu gives up most of its flavor at lower temperatures so you don’t want to boil it. extract the kombu but hold onto it because you can make another batch of dashi using it. before:


next, add the katsobushi to the warm water and raise the heat until the liquid boils. turn off the heat and let the flakes steep for 10 minutes.

strain out the katsobushi and you have dashi!

next take 8 tablespoons of miso paste and whisk into your 2 quart of dashi. keep the heat up and put in the cubed tofu. let the tofu sit in the soup for 10-20 minutes so it soakes up flavors. serve with some thiny sliced scallions and enjoy!

January 19, 2011 at 12:44 am 1 comment


im pretty sure it is hardwired into our DNA to pick at our scabs. i can think of few things as satisfying as getting your fingernail underneath a thick, scaly, brown scab and flicking it off your knee in one complete piece. and who doesnt like feeling the surface of a scab? i even know a few people who enjoy eating their own scabs.

but why are we so fascinated with scabs?

underneath each scab is something quite special. what once was damaged skin and ruptured blood vessels is now returning to what it was before the injury, before the bleeding, before the pain. the scab hides this miraculous biological process and protects it from infection, and when it is ready, when the skin underneath is fully healed, the scab will fall off by itself.

when i pick at a scab on my knee, it is because i am itching to see what’s going on underneath. my curiosity as to whether my injury has healed tempts me to pick at my scab, to expose the incomplete process underneath, and ironically, this delays the regeneration process. deep down inside, i want to see healing, i want to see renewal, i want to see how my knee is supposed to look.

picking at the scab might cause you to bleed again. but its okay, your body will form another clot and another scab will take the place of the one you impulsively separated from your body.

but wouldnt it be better to wait?

January 11, 2011 at 8:02 pm Leave a comment

swiss steak

beef bottom round was on sale so i bought a 2 pounds and decided to make some swiss steak (recipe adapted from my hero). cut your meat into 1/2 inch thick slices and tenderize using a meat hammer tenderizer thing. i didnt have one so i used a can of soup to bash my meat covered in plastic wrap. after you tenderize, rub both side with salt and pepper and dredge with flour. set the meat aside for a little while to allow the flour to absorb some moisture from the meat.

in the meantime, slice up a sweet onion, mince 4 gloves of garlic, and dice two stalks of celery. heat up some vegetable oil in a large pot and fry your beef a few minutes on each side until it browns. don’t overcrowd your pot or else you’ll drop the oil temperature and have a sucky fry.

doesn’t this look good?

well, its not because bottom round is a pretty tough cut of meat to chew. that’s why its pretty cheap! we’ll need to braise the meat for a few hours before eating. while the oil is still hot, add in your celery, onion, and garlic. saute for a few minutes and then add a can of diced tomatoes, a few tablespoons of tomato sauce, one teaspoon of dried oregano, one teaspoon of paprika, and one teaspoon of worcestershire sauce. stir it all up and then add 1 1/2 cups of some sort of stock. beef stock should work the best, but i used the duck broth i made a few months ago. bring to almost a boil and submerge all your meat in your braising liquid.

braise for 2 hours or until the meat can be cut with your fork. i had it over rice with some broccoli and a nice glass of wine. enjoy!

December 20, 2010 at 1:52 am Leave a comment

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