28 July 2014

aquaponics

In case anyone is wondering, I'm busy with packing for my move. But here's various (well...two) incarnations of canned tuna and vegetables from the garden.

As a relatively classic pasta. I took my liberties with the pesto.

As my "throw the last ingredients that I still have out " tuna salad with added pasta and potatoes (part of the last ingredients I still have out).
Let me be proud of this creation for a second here, which is loosely based off of a potato salad recipe from River Cottage Veg. The dressing is so flavourful that it's absolutely amazing. Basil plus dijon mustard plus rice vinegar plus vegetable oil plus SiChuan pickled radish & spicy peppers. It's a rather random combination of flavours (from across cuisines) and eye-balled quantity but it turned out soooo gooooood. Next time I'll skip the pasta and just stick with potatoes, which adds a hint of sweetness and absorbs the dressing better.

Speaking of the garden, currently using the solar dehydrator to dry oregono (y).

21 July 2014

As I Lay Dying

I wanted to read The sound and the fury cause it sounded like a cool title, but reddit kindly warned me that Faulkner is a tough read and suggested this book instead as a gentle introduction.

As I lay dying was still a difficult read durr. In the beginning I was unintentionally confused as I wasn't use to the writing style. Afterwards I was intentionally confused cause the author wills it so. Actually I had to search it up later that Faulkner intended the individual (heck I would even go as far as collective) narrations to be incomplete. A review described it as reverse-foreshadowing, where events (chaotically) happen first, then a couple characters fill in some amount of detail later on.

All in all I was just confused and couldn't enjoy the book very much.

Darl's chapters can easily be transplanted into Alice in wonderland, exhibit A:
In a strange room you must empty yourself for sleep. And before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are emptied for sleep, you are not. And when you are filled with sleep, you never were. I don't know what I am. I don't know if I am or not. Jewel knows he is, because he does not know that he does not know whether he is or not. He cannot empty himself for sleep because he is not what he is and he is what he is not. Beyond the unlamped wall I can hear the rain shaping the wagon that is ours, the load that is no longer theirs that felled and sawed it nor yet theirs that bought it and which is not ours either, lie on our wagon though it does, since only the wind and the rain shape it only to Jewel and me, that are not asleep. And since sleep is is-not and rain and wind are was, it is not. Yet the wagon is, because when the wagon is was, Addie Bundren will not be. And Jewel is, so Addie Bundren must be. And then I must be, or I could not empty myself for sleep in a strange room. And so if I am not emptied yet, I am is.

How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.

Maybe I'll try Virginia Woolf next...?

19 July 2014

gan

I really can't wait to move so I can invite friends over and drink tea.

Today I realized explicitly why I love Tie Guan Yin so much. It's the smell of the wet leaves (especially after the second pour, so intense). To the best of my ability, I'd describe it as floral? Wish my whole house smelled like this ;_;

Since I'm too lazy to bust out my yixing pot before moving, I'm getting better at pouring with DavidTea's perfect mug and strainer. It's a 2 step process, first pour the bulk of the infusion out quickly so it doesn't drip off the side of the mug, then remove the strainer and carefully pour the rest out slowly (so the leaves remain at the bottom). Was also very happy to pour in the boiled water into my mug correctly, it's really hard to get it swirling without a long sprout on the kettle.

So yeah come drink tea with me please.

PS. CCTV has a documentary on tea, you should watch. The video below is also good.

13 July 2014

tea rose

Mom's garden still needs lots of work. Vegetables are barely growing, but least we got flowers now.



New favourite tool in PS: unsharp mask. This thing is magical.

Also really enjoying Bill Gate's blog. Digging through it for book recommendations.

12 July 2014

Splendido

Its good, and expensive. A good candidate for Summerlicious (y).

I apologize for crappy iphone photos, but I don't think I'm at the level where I'll bring a proper camera to a meal yet.

Salmon sashimi, the best course of the night. Friend's beef tongue was delicious as well, so intensely flavourful.

Sea bass with daikon and radishes. The fish is cooked well: crispy skin and soft flesh. The picked daikon is actually my favourite part, complements the fish and isn't too sour to eat alone. The radish top powder is my first experience with molecular gastronomy. It didn't taste like anything, but makes for a pretty garnish.

Sides of a bread / tomato / basil salad and fries. Both were very good, fries were fried perfectly: crispy outside, soft inside.

Strawberry panna cotta for dessert. Underwhelming, but everything did taste very much strawberry like, even more so than actual strawberries.

Ambience:
I really like the exposed bulb pendant light (wish I can have it in my home). Interestingly, the wood that is on display is actually used in the kitchen for bbq and smoking. The decor seems a little all over the place though, there's both modern and rustic elements that don't form a cohesive look.

Overall, Splendido's dishes are flavoured well (quality and quantity wise) and presented prettily. Service is not as legendary as I've read on the internet, but I have no complaints. My waiter was knowledgeable about the dishes and gave good recommendations. They do charge $7 for a bottle of water for the table, which is outrageous in my opinion, especially since we weren't informed of the cost. I ended up justifying the cost as additional tip, which they do deserve.

10 July 2014

谁给我答案

Been listening to this on repeat hoping to learn it by heart. It's a good karaoke song.



那是我日夜思念深深爱着的人呐
到底我该如何表达
她会接受我吗
也许永远都不会跟他说出那句话
注定我要浪迹天涯
怎么能有牵挂

梦想总是遥不可及 是不是应该放弃
花开花落又是雨季 春天啊你在哪里

青春如同奔流的江河
一去不回来不及道别
只剩下麻木的我没有了当年的热血
看那漫天飘零的花朵
在最美丽的时刻凋谢
有谁会记得这世界她来过

转眼过去多年时间多少离合悲欢
曾经志在四方少年羡慕南飞的燕
各自奔前程的身影匆匆渐行渐远
未来在哪里平凡啊谁给我答案

那时陪伴我的人啊 你们如今在何方
我曾经爱过的人啊 现在是什么模样

当初的愿望实现了吗
事到如今只好祭奠吗
任岁月风干理想再也找不回真的我
抬头仰望着满天星河
那时候陪伴我的那颗
这里的故事你是否还记得

生活像一把无情刻刀 改变了我们模样
未曾绽放就要枯萎吗 我有过梦想

青春如同奔流的江河
一去不回来不及道别
只剩下麻木的我没有了当年的热血
看那满天飘零的花朵
在最美丽的时刻凋谢
有谁会记得这世界它曾经来过

当初的愿望实现了吗
事到如今只好祭奠吗
任岁月风干理想再也找不回真的我
抬头仰望着满天星河
那时候陪伴我的那颗
这里的故事你是否还记得
如果有明天祝福你亲爱的

Also feeling terribly nostalgic when I listen to this, ugh.

08 July 2014

spring/summer 14 revisited

I am so done with shopping for a long while. No buying clothing/tea/stationary/video games/whatever other hobby items until the holidays. Luckily I received some really awesome tea (TGY and 2014 longjing) so hopefully no temptation there for a while. FFXV also won't be out for a while, so good on the video game front too.

Clothing wise, update from previous list:
  • Trina sandal: yes, so much yes. Comfortable enough to walk a full day in, good looking, and versatile to go with every outfit. A minor problem is how the soles seems to wear quickly.
  • Pleated skirt: bought on taobao, not too happy about it. My fault for choosing a light colour, so its pretty sheer. The construction is good for taobao standards, so I'll try to make it work by wearing something underneath. Would still like another one though (a la my various pins), but that can wait.
  • Short zipped jacket: still so sad that the only from Aritzia that I finally decided on got discontinued. So the hunt continues. Did end up buying a black blazer (which was an item that I needed although it wasn't on my list), so also can wait.
  • Opaque white tank: bought a grey one, good enough.
What I actually bought in addition to above:
  • Black dress pants: needed, also fits me really well (did spend an hour in the fitting room) so yay.
  • Linen tee: also so much yes. Loft's scoop neck linen tee is my favourite tee atm. Perfect slouch, neckline, fabric feel. It's a little expensive, otherwise I would buy multiples of it.
  • Rain jacket: overkill but it was on clearance, rain at survey camp: bring it.
I'd say I did a pretty good job of sticking to plan :D 

Also no more make-up/skincare (minus one iherb order). Masks sare restocked and I have back ups of everything, so should be good until the end of the year!