Sunday, April 13, 2014

What do you know to be absolutely true?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Looking for adventure in the streets of New York?

The answer is simple.

The first step in achieving this would be to get stoned out of your mind. Next, choose any Philip Glass album to blast in your headphones (any will work, but you can't go wrong with Glassworks). And then the final step would be to put on some comfortable walking shoes, and just wander the streets of New York City for hour upon hour.

That, my friends, is adventure.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"I am very serious about what I do, but I do not take what I do seriously. And why should I? As hard as I work on my dishes, within a few hours of being served they are going to be flushed down the toilet, followed by about twelve cents in Charmin Ultra."

From the April 10, 2014 column, Dispatches from Dirty Candy, written by Dirt Candy chef and owner Amanda Cohen.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

"Well I found you out,
Discovered your secret.
Well honey it ain't a sin,
That you,
You need someone to love you,
You need someone to hold you,

From the song Need Someone by Mary J. Blige.
"Jean-Georges is still a four-star restaurant. That is all. Thank you for your time."

From the April 8, 2014 New York Times Dining Section Restaurant Review, The Stars Remain Aligned: Jean-Georges on the Upper West Side, by Pete Wells.

Woah. Congrats to Jean-Georges and his entire time!

Monday, April 07, 2014

"This here is the best cherry Coke in the history of the world."

Said by the character Sammy in the movie, Steel Magnolias.
Dear friends

VICE has just launched their new food channel titled MUNCHIES.

Please check out this awesome site, and read my latest VICE write-up as well:


It's been a few days since I finished dog/house-sitting for friends in Brooklyn. I'm back in the city now, but will be heading out to New Jersey after work tomorrow to stay for the rest of the week. My sister and brother-in-law are currently on a business trip overseas, and I'm going to be helping them out with some stuff in their office while they're gone. Besides that, I don't really feel like I have much going on with me right now. I haven't been updating this much lately. Sometimes the topics I want to write about seem to be about things that I've already mentioned, which isn't a big deal. But I'd like to think that I'm constantly growing, learning, and evolving---so bringing up thoughts and emotions I've already said would seem like I'm taking a step backwards. I've also recently come to think about what exactly I should and shouldn't be writing about here. While I don't really have my name written much on this blog, and keep it as unsearchable as possible on Google, I have to accept that people might stumble onto it somehow. And what makes me reflect on that is I don't want to wait tables for the rest of my life, and therefore don't want any future employers at big companies not hiring me because of anything that I've written about here. I mean I guess it might be a bit too late for that, because I know I already do have some colorful entries written here, so why stop with all of it now? I would say the fact that I'm currently 31 is a reason, and that perhaps I've moved on from a lot of the bullshit in my life that used to consume me. I recently told all of this to one of my best friends, and she disagreed. She said that I was creative by nature, and that it's not only good for me to continue writing here, but that I should continue to do it as honestly and openly as possible. That really made sense to me... so I here I am sitting alone in the dark after 3am at night---it doesn't get any more honest than this. Monday morning is literally hours away, and yet I just can't seem to fall asleep. I guess some of the old bullshit in my life just isn't ready to leave me yet.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

It's nice to see ice cream trucks back out on the streets.

Monday, March 31, 2014

"As the position restaurants hold in American culture grows, so too does the list of issues on which chefs are asked to make a stand."

From the March 31, 2014 New York Times article, Chefs Find Political Waters Anything but Tepid, by Kim Severson.
It's been more than two weeks since I started dog/house-sitting for my friends Grace and Adrian.

Because their dog Izzy has to be taken outside for walks during certain times of the day, it's had me pretty much coming home straight after work on a daily basis. I've dog sat plenty of other times before, but for all of them, those doggies always had the option of using the bathroom on a wee wee pad left behind inside the apartment. But Izzy needs to be walked outside, which is totally fine and understandable. All of this has had me pretty much just at home in their place everyday, vegging out with her while watching Netflix. Not being able to really do stuff of my own since I started staying here in Fort Greene has been great. The routine that it's forced me to adapt is good, and it's nice to have the stability. This will be my last week here, and then I will head back home before going to stay in New Jersey for a week. I guess always having to change things up isn't the worst thing to happen.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

It's a quiet and overcast Saturday morning here with Izzy in Fort Greene.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dear friends,

If you have the time, please read my latest story for VICE: I'M FUGLY, AND I WON'T BE YOUR WAITER TONIGHT.

Thank you very much.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Um, no thank you.
I'm currently on my friends' living room sofa in Fort Greene.

Grace and Adrian are going to be traveling for some weeks, and I'm happily dog/house-sitting for them. It's nice to have a different pace and change of scenery. I even went to do hot yoga at a somewhat walkable place, after not having done anything for about two months---it was so great to sweat things out.

Well, safe travels to you guys!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

"A central puzzle is why anyone would hijack a jetliner and then fly it for hours over the open ocean, as seems to be the most likely case. On Saturday, the Malaysian authorities opened a criminal inquiry after learning that two tracking devices aboard the aircraft has been turned off several minutes apart, indicating deliberate action, and that the plane appeared to have flown for as long as seven hours more."

From the March 16, 2014 New York Time Article, As U.S. Looks for Terror Links in Plane Case, Malaysia Rejects Extensive Help, written by Michael S. Schmidt and Scott Shane.

Friday, March 14, 2014

It's 3am and I still can't sleep. 

Waking up and getting ready for work tomorrow morning should be awesome.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

"I think I'm ugly, 
and nobody wants to love me."

From the song Ugly by 2NE1.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I don't care."

From the song Baby I Miss You by 2NE1.

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's been almost three hours since I sat down to work, and I've barely churned out one paragraph.

Is it time for a drink yet?

Sunday, March 09, 2014

"It's difficult to understand change when you are right in the middle of it. I wonder what people thought during the industrial revolution when they rode a train for the very first time, drove a car, or saw electric lights on the streets of Paris suddenly go on as if magic. Did they feel the same mixture of skepticism and enthusiasm that we did when we held our first cellphone, figured out how to use a laptop, or learned how to Skype with our loved ones? Probably. But I bet that they, like us, got used to these inventions very quickly, without paying too much attention to just how significant the moments they were experiencing were."

From the Editor's Letter of W magazine, written by Stefano Tonchi. W magazine, March 2014 issue.
Happy Birthday, Judy!

Friday, March 07, 2014

Extremes can make a point.
Crazy + Crazy = Normal.

Or at least some couples' versions of it. But since they have each other, it's possible.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Dear Carbs,

Why are you so good to me?


Tuesday, March 04, 2014

"How beautiful is this life?
How painful is this life?"

From the song 멘붕 by CL of 2NE1.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

"You can't depend on Darlene for your happiness, you know? You gotta get out there and find out what it is you really want to do in life---make sure it doesn't annoy me---and then go for it."

Said by the character Roseanne in the sitcom, Roseanne. Season 6, Episode 7.
Whatever happened to just treating people with respect and kindness?

Saturday, March 01, 2014

"Who knows who first mixed soy sauce and butter and discovered the pleasures the combination provides. Try the mixture on warm white rice, a steaming pile of greens or an old sneaker---regardless, the taste is a sublime velvet of sweet and salty, along with a kind of pop the cognoscenti call umami, a fifth taste beyond bitter, sour, salty and sweet. Soy butter provides warmth and luxury, elegance without pomp. It raises recipes to heights almost indescribable in the telling."

From the February 26, New York Times article, The Sublime Combination of Butter and Soy, written by Sam Sifton.

Who knew an easy childhood snack would be regarded with such high acclaim in the New York Times decades later?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Every night I try to fall asleep by a decent hour, but things just don't ever seem to work out that way.

I'm currently house-sitting/cat-sitting for a friend in Jersey City right now. I've only been here a few days, and have just been commuting back-and-forth to work from here. It's been an enjoyable couple of days to just break out of my usual routine and try something new, and I'm a little bummed that I'll be leaving here tomorrow morning for good. Even riding the Path Train here to Jersey City seemed like a nice change, which I think is a good indicator showing that I'm in desperate need to get away from NYC for a little. I can't really afford to travel anywhere right now, so I think even a day trip on a weekend would be extremely helpful to keep me going.

It's been a bit too cold out the past few days to explore much, but from what I've seen, Jersey City is pretty nice. There's seems to be a diverse range of people who live here, and there's tons of bars and restaurants near my friend's place as well. My friend Dessie lives off the Grove Street stop, so getting to the World Trade Center and walking to work is literally two stops away. It's great that the Path Train isn't too crazy packed during rush hour either, which has been a pleasant surprise.

But for everyone who's recently endured way too many snow days and cold nights---can we talk about this crazy ass winter? I know that Spring is only a few months away, but I'm just not sure how much more snow and freezing temperatures I can take. The inability to walk anywhere (because it's just too damn cold out!) is what's really driving me nuts the most, and I long for warmer weather where I can pop in my headphones and stroll in whatever hell direction I please.

It's during times like these where I miss Bangkok and Thailand the most. I especially miss sitting on the balcony of my old studio apartment, just listening to the constant traffic on Petchaburi Road and staring at the beautiful view (pictured below) with a joint in my hand. Man, that sure is nice to reminisce about right about now.

Until next time, I wish you warm and sunny dreams. Good night.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Isn't arrogance just masked insecurity?

I can't stand these types of fools.
"I sat down to write this piece fifty-two minutes ago. I named the blank file, gathered all the material I'd need to complete it, and cued up a Spotify playlist of songs I don't know well enough to sing a sing along to. Since then, I've read three New York Times stories, a blog about West Virginia University football, and my Twitter feed (three times). I always wasted time when working---especially when I am trying my hardest to focus. In that way I'm no different from everyone else.

According to a study done by Gloria Mark, Ph.D, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, information workers switch activities every three minutes. Millennials---like the students at her school---jump around twice as often. Technology has made us more productive as a society, yet it's also great at tricking our brains into thinking they're doing real work. E-mail, social media, Candy Crush---they all provide that "job done!" satiation our brains crave without actually accomplishing anything. 

Thing is, some of what we think of as procrastination, our brains consider recess. Sandra Bond Chapman, Ph.D, a cognitive neuroscientist and director of the Center for BrainHealth in Dallas, explains that our neurons want to work hard, then chill for a bit. Periods of productivity come and go, and that's okay.

For some people, focus peaks in mid-afternoon; for others it happens in the early morning. Once you know when you work best, build some walls around it. 'The most productive people spend their brains' 'prime time' on one or two higher-order tasks, rather than let lower-level tasks gobble the day,' says Chapman.

The most important thing you can do to finish a job? Start it. Humans are wired to seek completion. Psychologists call it the Zeigarnik effect, after an early-twentieth-century Russian psychologist who discovered that once people began an assigned task, they would almost always see it through, even if interrupted. The trick is setting yourself up to get there. And with the advice from the hyperproductive heavyweights that follows, you'll be able to get shit done. Just like I did now."

From the articled, How I Get $#!t Done: 21 Productivity Secrets from Successful People Who've Figured It Out, written by Josh Dean in the March 2014 issue of GQ.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Gaining 15lbs is so much easier than I remembered.

I think we all go through waves of different periods in life. And right now, I'm eating pasta.
"He hit me,
and it felt like a kiss.
He hit me,
but it didn't hurt me."

From the cover version by Hole titled, He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss).

Thursday, February 20, 2014

There's always something to be grateful for.
"I have let you go,
And everything I went through was beautiful."

From the song When I Wake Up by Jill Scott.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"There is no fear now, 
Let go and just be free,
I will love you,

From the song Unconditionally by Katy Perry.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"Shafts of sunlight pierce clouds of smoke and steam as I plunge into the heat and noise of the kitchen at Bundo Sati, a small restaurant in Jakarta."

From the article Spice World by Christopher Tan in the March 2014 issue of Saveur.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sadly, there aren't really any holidays in the NYC restaurant industry.

Happy President's Day though to everyone who has off!
It's late at night. Sometimes trying to find something fun to watch on television just seems impossible, but thank goodness for old reruns.

There's an old Friends rerun playing right now, and one of the story-lines of the episode is of this guy named "Fun Bobby." Midway through, the whole gang of characters realize "Fun Bobby" is only actually fun because he's a big alcoholic. And in fact, in reality he's a big dud when he's not drunk. Maybe it was because of some factors including it's supposed to take place in New York City and that drinking is such a big part of culture here, or well at least it can be. But it got me thinking that man, Bobby, I sort of get it. Why not just imbibe and let loose to have fun time every now and then?
The past few weeks or so.

Congratulations to my friends Jenn and Daniel for welcoming your first baby into the world! The two of them and their healthy newborn baby son are going to make such a great family. I'm so happy for them, and can't wait to go visit California later in the year.

Thursday, February 13, 2014