Thursday, September 25, 2008

losing wait.

it's funny how it's always in between relationships that i really lose weight. i know it makes sense because i'm single, trying to find a guy, trying to impress. but why does my self-care depend on my relationship status? am i losing weight while i'm losing wait? am i losing weight while i wait for the right guy?

weight is such a famous topic among women. either about why we can't lose it fast enough, why we can't lose it at all, why it's so hard to even begin weight loss, why it's hard to continue and why it always seems easy to end. kohana and i were talking about calories and how there is an endless struggle to negate the calories we so easily and happily ingest throughout the day and how painful it is to shed just as many calories. take me for example. each day, i actively shed about 250 calories on my 2.5 mile walk/run. whenever i do so, i always think of the calories i usually ingest for lunch, a can of soup for about 190 calories. i tell myself, hey, at least i just burned off what i ate for lunch and then some. but then what about my breakfast, dinner and the snacks and delishly forbidden stuff i put in my belly in between all that? unaccounted for, i tell you. so it becomes this neverending war between what i put in and what i shed. and you know what, input always exceeds output.

and ironically, all this was a discussion that took place over boba and tea, which i'm too terrified to know the calorie count of, because i know it just negated a few days of exercise in one long sip. but it was one long yummy sip.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

i love LA.

downtown santa monica

we visited santa monica and the westwood, brentwood and bel air areas on sunday. i love downtown santa monica. i love the holistic, organic, alternative, artsy fartsy-ness of it. the shops, restaurants, stores and overall feel of that overpriced beach town is just perfect. we ate at the Library Alehouse, which was kinda cute. the food was average. then we made our way down santa monica blvd, pass the 3rd street promenade where we did not stop. we drove around the UCLA area, through the exclusive Bel Air gates (there were tons of security cars but no security guard) and gawked at the wonderful gates those richie riches put in front of their homes, blocking our free view of their underused home. the canopy roads were beautiful and i barely saw any residents enjoy what they spent their easily earned money on. there was no one on the streets, strolling down the sidewalk on a beautiful sunday afternoon. the entire UCLA area is just so beautiful. surrounded by westwood, brentwood, and bel air, the students must feel like celebrities.

Friday, September 12, 2008

time to see the car doctor.

my car has been reliable ever since i got it in 2004. it has been across the country several times, traversed snow, rain, sleet, wind, desert sun and even good weather. however, its age is showing. it's time to bring her in for a car doctor check-up. i am grateful that my friend's husband is a mechanic because that means i don't have to be ripped off by some greedy, sloppy mechanic somewhere else and i can trust that my ride will be safe for the years to come. thank you naku. here's to many many more, because i can't afford a new ride, even if i want, so i best make this one last.

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.

The best part about the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is the yue bin, or moon cakes, filled with different varieties of beans and nuts and fruits.

Mid-Autumn Festival

The joyous Mid-Autumn Festival, the third and last festival for the living, was celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth moon, around the time of the autumn equinox. Many referred to it simply as the "Fifteenth of the Eighth Moon". In the Western calendar, the day of the festival usually occurred sometime between the second week of September and the second week ofOctober.This day was also considered a harvest festival since fruits, vegetables and grain had been harvested by this time and food was abundant. With delinquent accounts settled prior to the festival , it was a time for relaxation and celebration. Food offerings were placed on an altar set up in the courtyard. Apples, pears, peaches, grapes, pomegranates , melons, oranges and pomelos might be seen. Special foods for the festival included moon cakes, cooked taro, edible snails from the taro patches or rice paddies cooked with sweet basil, and water caltrope, a type of water chestnut resembling black buffalo horns. Some people insisted that cooked taro be included because at the time of creation, taro was the first food discovered at night in the moonlight. Of all these foods, it could not be omitted from the Mid-Autumn Festival.The round moon cakes, measuring about three inches in diameter and one and a half inches in thickness, resembled Western fruitcakes in taste and consistency. These cakes were made with melon seeds, lotus seeds, almonds, minced meats, bean paste, orange peels and lard. A golden yolk from a salted duck egg was placed at the center of each cake, and the golden brown crust was decorated with symbols of the festival. Traditionally, thirteen moon cakes were piled in a pyramid to symbolize the thirteen moons of a "complete year," that is, twelve moons plus one intercalary moon.


The Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional festivity for both the Han and minority nationalities. The custom of worshipping the moon (called xi yue in Chinese) can be traced back as far as the ancient Xia and Shang Dynasties (2000 B.C.-1066 B.C.). In the Zhou Dynasty(1066 B.C.-221 B.C.), people hold ceremonies to greet winter and worship the moon whenever the Mid-Autumn Festival sets in. It becomes very prevalent in the Tang Dynasty(618-907 A.D.) that people enjoy and worship the full moon. In the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279 A.D.), however, people send round moon cakes to their relatives as gifts in expression of their best wishes of family reunion. When it becomes dark, they look up at the full silver moon or go sightseeing on lakes to celebrate the festival. Since the Ming (1368-1644 A.D. ) and Qing Dynasties (1644-1911A.D.), the custom of Mid-Autumn Festival celebration becomes unprecedented popular. Together with the celebration there appear some special customs in different parts of the country, such as burning incense, planting Mid-Autumn trees, lighting lanterns on towers and fire dragon dances. However, the custom of playing under the moon is not so popular as it used to be nowadays, but it is not less popular to enjoy the bright silver moon. Whenever the festival sets in, people will look up at the full silver moon, drinking wine to celebrate their happy life or thinking of their relatives and friends far from home, and extending all of their best wishes to them.

Moon Cakes

There is this story about the moon-cake. during the Yuan dynasty (A.D. 1280-1368) China was ruled by the Mongolian people. Leaders from the preceding Sung dynasty (A.D. 960-1280) were unhappy at submitting to the foreign rule, and set how to coordinate the rebellion without being discovered. The leaders of the rebellion, knowing that the Moon Festival was drawing near, ordered the making of special cakes. Backed into each moon caked was a message with the outline of the attack. On the night of the Moon Festival, the rebels successfully attached and overthrew the government. Today, moon cakes are eaten to commemorate this legend and was called the Moon Cake.For generations, moon cakes have been made with sweet fillings of nuts, mashed red beans, lotus-seed paste or Chinese dates, wrapped in a pastry. Sometimes a cooked egg yolk can be found in the middle of the rich tasting dessert. People compare moon cakes to the plum pudding and fruit cakes which are served in the English holiday seasons.Nowadays, there are hundreds varieties of moon cakes on sale a month before the arrival of Moon Festival.

gobble gobble.

d liked my pan-fried turkey loins so much that he ate the whole thing! i'll take that as a compliment! he beat me to it, but i'll take his word for it.

these are alot of work but they're good. coat the pan with olive oil. pan fry each side on medium low for about 15 minutes (depending on how thick the loin is, and these were very thick). check on them frequently, as d said they don't taste good burned and you don't want to eat them raw. i flipped them frequently to make sure. i ended up covering them with a lid as they fried because i was running out of time and wanted them ready for d when he got home.

turkeys beware! tasting this good will get you in lots of trouble!


where there is light
there is you
your love for me
is true blue.
you show me
unsurpassed faith
for something
that began on one date.
i hope when you look at me
you see love
for what you gave me
is something i've always dreamed of.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


somehow i think i'm losing the battle against the ants that have been raiding the house. i picture the ants enjoying themselves with a good cup of coffee after claiming victory every day.


wow, has it been 7 years since it happened? what were YOU doing when it happened?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bowers Museum feat. the Terracotta Warriors.

gramma and i had an enjoyable day at Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. i do think the gaggle of stone warriors, animals and horsedrawn carriages were a bit of a pompous gesture by the first emperor of China who was not satisfied with people serving him hand and foot alive and had to continue this in his after life. i think of all the people who slaved over constructing his necropolis who probably were starved and underpaid and died during construction. on a happy note, since i don't know if i'll ever visit Xi'an and see the real deal, a sample of the terracotta warriors in an American museum sufficed.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Canter's Deli of Fairfax.

after the NIN Concert, we grabbed a bite at Canter's, this Jewish diner in downtown LA. I had their world famous corned beef sandwich, which actually wasn't too impressive. But i did enjoy the casual yet chaotic ambiance of the deli and i was happy to appease my growling tummy and parched throat.


We tried a Halvah bar we purchased from Canter's in the Fairfax district in downtown LA. It reminded me of a chinese confection. Grainy and sweet in the inside. It was tasty but one bar was equivalent to more than a meal in calories!

Halvah is a Turkish confection. It is one of the worlds oldest candies.The earliest references date as far back as the year 3000 B.C. The word halvah means literally 'sweetmeat'.

Ingredients include tahini and sugar. Tahini is created by grinding sesame seeds into a smooth creamy butter. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium, zinc, iron, phosphorous, protein, niacin and lecithin and many B complex vitamins.

Halvah contains three basic nutrients; protein and vegetable fat from tahini and carbohydrates from sugar. Halvah provides protein and calories, making it an excellent choice for the beginning of the day or for a backpacking energy source.


this morph was the best!

i had heard a few NIN songs prior to going to the concert and liked his stuff but when i heard and saw him perform live, it blew me away. not only was the music awesome, the technical stuff and performance itself was remarkable. i especially enjoyed it when he threw his stuff across the stage and the stage hands had to keep coming up to pick up after him. the bush to mccain morph was really cool. as was the Censored for your protection cam shots which included 2 people having sex. i am officially a NIN fan.