Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Broccoli Rob.
Yes, but what does that even mean?
"We were sad of getting old,
it made us restless.
Oh, I'm so mad I'm getting old,
it makes me reckless."

From the song When We Were Young by Adele.

Friday, February 05, 2016

There's nothing better than that feeling on a Friday evening, when you're finally finished with the workweek and free to start reveling in the weekend.

When I left my office today, I didn't really have anything to do or anyone to meet. My go-to solution for situations like these is usually to walk around alone and clear my head. That's when I decided to skip taking the subway and just walk home from work instead while listening to a podcast. I figured I could pop into any supermarkets along the way as well to peruse the aisles and check for things on sale. I ended up stopping by five different stores between the Flatiron District and the Financial District. I guess since it's Friday night, most New Yorkers are out getting drunk or leaving town for the weekend because each place was pretty empty. I liked it though. And luckily, I found at least one good deal at each that I just couldn't pass up.

Reasonably priced groceries, getting a little exercise and soaking in a podcast---it doesn't get better than that on a Friday night.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

"Fear will always make you blind."

From the song Face to Face by Daft Punk.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

"Child prodigies rarely become adult geniuses who change the world."

From the January 30, 2015, New York Times story: How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off. Written by Adam Grant.
"Oh shit, I had two lunches today."

Said by Amy Schumer in her HBO special, Amy Schumer: Live at Apollo.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Aglet.
With so much technology available at hand, is there ever a reason to not know anything anymore?

I mean, no matter how large or random your topic is, some sort of information on it can be found with a simple Google Search. Who's to say if your esoteric questions always find their answer, but the era of living without access to data and facts is over. It's all out there for us, waiting to be discovered at the speed of a thought.

But remembering everything you learned, though, that is something I'm still trying to figure out.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

"But this is New York City, where the grind never stops."

From the January 23, 2016, New York Times story: For Many Workers, Staying Home Is Not an Option During Blizzard. Written by Rick Rojas and Emily Palmer.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

When it began, last night's snowfall was the first real one of the winter for New York. It was pretty at first, and stepping out into it after leaving a bar with friends felt nice.

However, the snow had really accumulated by this morning. I left my friends' place in Brooklyn after crashing on their couch and headed to the subway. There was barely anyone out, and the quiet tranquility and blanket of softness on the streets had me sentimental. It's nice to be back in the comforts of home though. It was really getting windy and ugly by the time I got off the subway back in the city.

I'm sure the snow will eventually turn into messy slush, but below is how it was a few hours ago on this wonderful Saturday morning. The view from Fulton Streets in two boroughs wasn't that different, especially with the Freedom Tower in the second photo totally washed out.


"Lay your head on my pillow.
Here you can be yourself."

From the song Diary by Alicia Keys.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

I close my eyes, and imagine I'm on a tropical island with a cold beer.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Fried chicken, 
for the lickin.
Has been stickin,
in my thinkin.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

It's not because they didn't want to. It's because they couldn't.
"We walk away like strangers in the street."

From the song Blame Game by Kanye West.
The past few weeks or so.














"I'm lying in the ocean, 
singing your song."

From the song Dark Paradise by Lana Del Rey.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Today.
Day-to-day.
Today, too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

"It seems that no single man can make it through his 30s without feeling a pang of regret for the life he could be having, even if it conflicts with his desire to do exactly what he wants all day long."

From the January 7, 2016, New York Time story: Meet the New York Bachelors Who Yearn for Something More. Written by Sridhar Papu.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Happiness in 3 Steps
1. Come home after work.
2. Continue watching Season 2 of Ally McBeal on Netflix.
3. Go to bed and wake up the next day to do it all over.

Monday, January 11, 2016

"Welcome to the 'Anthropocene' --- a new epoch in our planet's 4.5 billon year history. Thanks to the colossal changes humans have made since the mid-20th century, Earth has now entered a distinct age from the Holocene epoch, which started 11,700 years ago as the ice age thawed. That's according to an argument made by a team of scientists from the Anthropocene Working Group. Scientists say an epoch ends following an event --- like the asteroid that demolished the dinosaurs and ended the late Cretaceous Epoch 66 million years ago --- that altered the underlying rock and sedimentary layers so significantly that its remnants can be observed across the globe. In a paper published Thursday in Science, the researchers presented evidence for why they think mankind's marks over the past 65 years ushered in a new geological time period."

From the January 11, 2016, New York Times story: Signs of the 'Human Age.' Written by Nicholas St. Fleur.

That is absolutely terrifying.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The downpour of rain already had a few people gathering at the bottom of the steps leading up to the street. A few others like myself who had just gotten off the train joined them, as we all stood there inside the Bleecker Street subway station. Some of us looked up into the gloomy sky to watch the heavy rain fall, while other umbrella-less straphangers figured out what to do next with the help of their smartphones. My original plans of getting off one subway stop early to walk to a bar and enjoy the nice weather was no longer possible. But after waiting out the rain for some minutes, it was time to be on my way. It wasn't a surprise there weren't any cabs on Bleecker, and I got stuck under some scaffolding for a while. I enjoyed watching the rain as people still went about their business on the quiet block. When the rainstorm was finally letting down, I decided to start walking with my black tote bag shielding me from the lingering raindrops. After I made a left onto Bowery, I saw the biggest rainbow arched in the sky. It's hard to even remember the last time I saw a rainbow in the city, so today's was especially beautiful.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

"You've got to get up every morning, 
with a smile on your face.
And show the world all the love in your heart."

From the song Beautiful by Carole King.
Friday night.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

"Seven days in, 2016 is shaping to be a chaotic year in global economics and geopolitics, with profound challenges nearly everywhere. Except, for now at least, in the world's largest economy. The American economy is acting as a steadying force in a volatile world."

From the January 7, 2016, New York Times story: Can U.S. Remain an Island of Stability in the Global Economy? Written by Neil Irwin.
"Bacne is a buzkill!"

From a proactiv commercial.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

"Amy: I've never seen you drunk. I feel like you don't know someone until you see them drunk."

Said by the character Amy in a deleted scene from the movie Trainwreck.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

"아직 널 보면 나 떨여,
we gotta stay together."

From the song Stay Together by 2NE1.
Bliss.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Back when I was living in Bangkok, I wrote the following food story about the city in 2012.

If you are planning to travel to Thailand anytime soon, perhaps you will find some helpful tips below.

Bangkok Food Culture 101 by Tae Yoon


SANG SOM RUM
For thirty-five years now, Sang Som rum has been fueling nights of drunken debauchery and hazy memories for revelers in Thailand. This precarious rum dominates the market of Thai spirits, and the country’s estimated 67 million residents consume over 70 million liters annually. Made of sugarcane and with an ABV of 40%, Sang Som can inexpensively be purchased almost anymore and is most commonly drunk with soda water, cola, or my favorite, in a Sang Som Bucket. Sang Som Buckets are exactly what you’re imagining—a tub of liquids whose only objective is to get you wasted. These buckets are customarily found at tourist bars and make consuming the powerful rum a bit smoother. And since export sales of Sang Som account for 1% of its total market, what better way is there to get acquainted with it while in Thailand?


PASS THE SRIRACHA. NO, NOT THAT ONE.  
When the average American thinks of sriracha sauce, that ubiquitous bottle with its robust red color, distinct green cap and large rooster on the front most likely comes to mind. But in Thailand, it’s a bit of a different story. Sriracha sauce here isn’t eaten with Vietnamese food, found as a staple condiment in places such as Momofuku, nor incorporated into sauces like it is at Applebee’s. Instead, it’s known as a nondescript chili sauce that got its name from the coastal city of Si Racha and is traditionally eaten with seafood. There are numerous available brands of sriracha in Thailand, all of which are mostly unknown to Americans, and vice versa. Most Thais are also unaware of the existence of the Huy Fong Foods brand, which was started by a Chinese-Vietnamese immigrant from California and is what most Americans know as sriracha. And since it’s impossible for me to acquire that here, I sometimes settle for the Thai-made Three Mountains Brand, which is less spicy, slightly sweeter and gives less a kick compared to its American cousin.



FOLLOW THE LUNCH CROWD
While Thailand’s street food needs no introduction, I’m sad to report that Bangkok’s streets are not all lined with stall-after-stall of wonderful deliciousness. Even though I live in a very central part of town, there isn’t a place for me to just quickly pop out to in order to grab a convenient bite. That is, well, unless it’s around lunchtime. Shortly after I moved into my studio, I discovered that the mass of office workers in the many nearby buildings would casually walk into a doorway around lunchtime that is always chained-up at night. My esurient curiosity lead me to investigate, and I subsequently discovered a vast open-air food court that solely exists to feed lunchtime customers. If you’ve come to Bangkok and think your accommodations are in a food-desolate neighborhood, hang around the area from 12-1 to see if there’s some overlooked establishments that are patronized by hungry office workers.


TIPPING
The tipping standards of 15% in America—and 20% in New York City—is unsurprisingly not common in a country where the minimum daily wage hovers around $10. Tipping is not required in Thailand, and this especially makes sense when your street food costs around a dollar or two itself. However, for many modern establishments with more of a full dining experience, there is sometimes a small service charge added to the bill. As someone who has had countless jobs where tips were a part of my livelihood, I can totally empathize with food service employees and don’t mind a service charge at all. And for other places where I’ve had adequate service and there’s no mandatory gratuity charged to the bill, I always feel compelled to not leave without giving something. The smallest bill of money in Thai currency would be ฿20, which equals to less than a dollar, and for most instances it’s sufficient enough to leave. But if you’re feeling extra generous, ฿100 would definitely make someone’s day.



SPRING ROLLS AND PAD THAI ON KHAO SAN ROAD
After living in this city for more than a year-and-a-half, I’ve come to realize that Khao San Road in Bangkok is comparable to what Times Square is in New York City: it’s filled with tourists, avoided by the locals, and gets tiresome pretty quickly. The notorious area of Khao San Road seems to be the absolute go-to stop for backpackers in Southeast Asia. On any given night, there will be thousands of people from all over the world mingling with one another while patronizing the countless number of hostels, budget hotels, bars, restaurants, shops and other inexpensive tourists destinations that fill the neighborhood. One of the edible attractions of Khao San Road are its many vendors who sell low-priced and delicious pad thai and spring rolls, which taste absolutely heavenly after a few Sang Som Buckets. On a side note, while I agree that it can be fun there, I have also heard of many people spending their entire Bangkok vacation at Khao San Road—and that seems like a terrible waste to me.



FORKS AND SPOONS TO CLASS IT UP
Some Asian countries use chopsticks as one of their main tools of eating, but Thailand would not be one of them. Whether it’s a meal of street food being enjoyed while sitting on a plastic stool, or in a luxurious Thai restaurant with a beautiful nighttime view of the city, the majority of its patrons are most likely eating their meals with a fork and spoon. When it comes to eating, Thais find it to be quite rude and inelegant to stuff food into your mouth with a fork. Instead, they use the fork to push food onto a spoon in order to prepare portions for consumption. The fork-and-spoon combination is quite versatile for Thai cuisine, and most Thai food does not require a knife of any sort for cutting. However if cutting is necessary, using the side of a spoon to do so is usually sufficient in most cases. Surprisingly, in Thai culture, chopsticks are most commonly used just for noodles or ethnically Chinese dishes.


WATER, MEET STRAW
When the Thai weather is being its tropical-self, and I’m dripping sweat from every crevice in my body, walking into a 7-11 to buy some water and bask in the free air-conditioning kills two birds with one stone. I know that the straw that’s always offered when purchasing any beverage is something I should accept, but a part of me in my perspiring state finds it completely unnecessary. In Thai culture, it is looked upon by some people as impolite and unrefined to drink liquids straight from the bottle, even for something as simple as bottled water. While I try to adhere to Thai customs and traditions as much as possible since arriving in Bangkok, I always decline the straw in a well-mannered way—and you should feel free to do the same.

YES—I’D LIKE MY LETTUCE WILTED, PLEASE
Many international coffee and tea franchises have branches all over Bangkok. Their selections of salads, sandwiches, wraps and pastries are a nice change from the street food I eat on a constant basis, and I often look forward to chilling out in an air-conditioned environment with Wi-Fi. Chicken Caesar wraps are especially my favorite, but I have to make sure that I don’t forget to add this to my order: “Please, don’t toast it!” Without fail, all of the coffee and tea franchises in Bangkok automatically assume that you want every single food that you order toasted in their oven. In Thailand, the norm is to eat everything toasted if an oven is available. I myself do not prefer to have my lettuce warm and wilted, and recommend that you be sure to note this to the cashier when placing your order as well. The same also goes for coffee that is sold in smaller places and not the international franchises. In Thailand, the norm is for coffee to be sweetened. If you only drink black coffee like myself, be sure to instruct them with “NO SUGAR,” or else you’ll end up with something that I liken to coffee candy.


MEET ME AT THE MALL
Hot weather. Rainy weather. Humid weather. Unbearable weather. The reasons to patronize Bangkok’s many malls might differ from person-to-person. But what’s absolutely clear is, Bangkok is definitely a mall-culture. Most of the malls are easily accessible and even anchor a good deal of the busiest public transportation stops in town. It’s inevitable that most tourists who are not used to Thailand’s tropical climate might at some point experience displeasure due to the weather, and that’s when you know it’s mall-time. One of the many great characteristics of Bangkok’s more popular malls are that they offer a plethora of activities, from ice-skating and bowling to 3D movies and massages, and spending an entire day there can be easily done. To top it off, Bangkok’s major malls offer a broad amount of different food options, making it pleasurable to recharge all that’s needed to before venturing back out into the elements.


RING OF SPICES
At almost any eating spot where Thai food is sold, both low-brow and high-brow, the ring of spices will be there sitting on the table. With the classic view of the ends of their small serving spoons sticking out, this foursome of staple condiments represent the four characteristics that form the basis of all Thai sauces: salty, sour, spicy and sweet. Called khrueng phuang in Thai and translated into "Ring of Spices" in English, dry chili powder, vinegar with chili pieces, sugar, and vinegar with chili powder make up the quartet of spices.

Friday, January 01, 2016

"Natalie Cole, the Grammy Award-winning singer whose hits included 'Inseparable,' 'Pink Cadillac' and 'Unforgettable,' a virtual duet with her father, Nat King Cole, that topped the Billboard charts in 1991, died in Los Angeles on Thursday. She was 65."

From the January 1, 2016, New York Times article: Natalie Cole, Grammy-Award-Winning Singer, Dies at 65.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

It's the last day of 2015 and I've been vegging out on my couch since 8am this morning...

The entire day seemed to go by really slow today, but I still can't believe there's only about an hour left until the clock strikes midnight. Well, I'm ready for you, 2016!

Have a happy new year everyone.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"As her confidence grew, her bad habits faded.

'I had to take control of my life,' she said. 'I quit drinking. I don't want to see another drink in my life again.'"

From the December 29, 2015, New York Times series The Neediest Cases: Finding Her Footing Once More After Slipping Off the Career Ladder. Written by John Otis.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

"Give me the song, 
and I'll sing it like I mean it."

From the song Sewn by The Feeling.
If someone in one hundred years watched the news of today, filled with so much about disastrous and extreme weather, they'd recognize it as the beginning.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

"But before the revisionists completely rewrite my adolescence, let's be clear about something: As a format for recorded sound, the cassette tape is a terrible piece of technology. It's a roll of tape in a box. It's essentially an office supply."

From the December 23, 2015, New York Times article: Our Misplaced Nostalgia for Cassette Tapes. Written by Rosecrans Baldwin.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

As of today, I am officially on vacation until after the new year. My roommate also happens to be going out of town during this period, leaving me the luxury of an empty apartment for the ultimate staycation.

I'm really looking forward to this alone time to finish off the year, and start anew.
"Personally, I wouldn't marry a man who proposed to me over an invention."

Said by the character Katie in the movie Meet Me in St. Louis. 
Why does it feel so impossible to ever get ahead?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

"Or do you not think so far ahead?
'Cause I've been thinkin' bout forever."

From the song Thinkin Bout You by Frank Ocean.
An old coworker that I used to work with more than six years ago has been in my thoughts the past few weeks. There's no real explanation for it. I asked about her to a mutual friend some time ago, and ever since I've just constantly been wondering about how she's doing and what she's been up to.

And then today, lo and behold, I was on the block of my office on my way to get lunch when I happened to see her walking by me. I excitedly yelled out her name and we both caught up for a minutes before exchanging phone numbers. I love when stuff like this happens.
Feel free, for a fee.
"'William, an artist is someone who combines a desperate need to be understood with the fiercest love of privacy. That his secrets may be obvious to others doesn't mean he is ready to part with them.'"

From the book City On Fire. Page 166.

Friday, December 18, 2015

"Tanya Nicole! I love your mole."

Said by the character Tanya Nicole in the sitcom Martin. Season 3, Episode 17.
"Nearly 16.6 millions babies were born in conflict zones this year, Unicef said Wednesday. Its report said newborns and mothers faced particularly acute risks in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan and Syria. 'Every two seconds, a newborn takes its first breath in the midst of conflict, often in terrifying circumstances and without access to medical care,' said Anthony Lake, Unicef's executive director."

From the December 16, 2015, New York Times story: Millions of Babies at Risk, Unicef Says. Written by Rick Gladstone.
"I'm not miserable. I'm just not there yet."

Said by the character Ally in the show Ally McBeal. Season 1, Episode 19.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

"I'm not okay. I'm not okay, Kim. I know what I am. I know who I am. And I'm broken."

Said by the character Amy in the movie Trainwreck.
"Alcohol has its own rules."

Said by Grace in the show Grace and Frankie. Season 1, Episode 1.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"And who are you hiding from?
It ain't no life to live like you're on the run."

From the song Water Under the Bridge by Adele.
"If you're not the one for me,
why do I hate the idea of being free?"

From the song Water Under the Bridge by Adele.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"I don't know for certain,
how I'll live my life.
Now alone,
without my beloved wife"

From the song Beloved Wife by Natalie Merchant.

Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I'll oddly have a song already stuck in my head. And for a song like this, I definitely don't mind.
"Racial identity can be fluid. More and more, it will have to be: Multiracial Americans are on the rise, growing at a rate three times as fast as the country's population as a whole, according to a new Pew Research Centerstudy released in June. Nearly half of mixed-race Americans today are younger than 18, and about 7 percent of the U.S. adult population could be considered multiracial, though they might not call themselves that. The need to categorize people into specific race groups will never feel entirely relevant to this population, whose perceptions of who they are can change by the day, depending on the people they're with."

From the December 14, 2015, New York Times story: Choose Your Own Identity. Written by Bonnie Tsui.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The struggle is the journey.
"These are the days."

From the song These Are The Days by 10,000 Maniacs.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Besides using it to bring home your newly purchased furnishings, those blue Ikea bags' other major function is for lugging laundry.
"Ally: Why does she want to marry this guy?
Renee: She hit 30."

From the show Ally McBeal. Season 1, Episode 14.

Friday, December 11, 2015

It’s when I’m sitting at a restaurant during the peak of dinner service when the nostalgia comes back in full force.

Table upon table is filled with happy revelers immersed in good food, booze and conversation. All of the wait staff is busy in their poetic dance of service that seems so perfectly in synch. Orders are taken. Food is delicately placed on tables. And dirty plates are expertly passed off like a baton with no glances and a flick of the wrist. The deafening noise level is a mixture of flatware in good use and jaws chewing with a balance of laughter and stories recounted. There’s music on in the background, but it’s impossible to tell what song or even genre is playing because it exists only as the counterpart of chirping crickets in nature.

It’s at these moments when I miss working in restaurants the most, where I used to be just one person in a chain of employees whose only objective is to make sure you have a kickass night out with some great food.  

I first started working full-time in restaurants after I was laid off from an epicurean magazine. This was at the height of the economic crisis years ago, and was my umpteenth job in an office since graduating from college. Getting laid off was one of the best gifts I could’ve ever been given because it forced me to make a much needed change in my life I was too scared to make on my own. Being in my mid-twenties, I felt burnt out. The minutiae of office life in a fluorescent-lighted world that seemed devoid of reality was also something I wanted a break from, so I excitedly jumped head first into starting work in a completely new environment.

I had worked odd restaurants jobs since I was a kid and felt confident walking in on the first day of my gig. But being a dishwasher when I was twelve years old at my parents’ old restaurant or waiting tables part-time at a café during college could have in no way prepared me for what was to come.

The restaurant I started working at was a well-known spot in the East Village of Manhattan that was recognized for its award-winning food without the uptight service. I was first hired as a runner, which is the person who brings you your food from the kitchen and lets you know what dish it is while you and your friends unknowingly ignore them. Then I worked my way up to host, server, and bartender before eventually becoming a staff captain.

Climbing up the front-of-house (FOH) ladder was a lot of hard work, but something I really loved. Restaurant-goers might think that FOH employees just show up to our shift and only do the work you watch us do with your own eyes, but it takes so much more than that.

We learn in detail beforehand about every dish on the menu including its history, preparation, and cooking technique; which farm, ocean or source that each ingredient came from, along with how it was grown or raised. Then there’s everything to know about allergies to save you from having it be  your last meal ever. The same studying was also required for the drink menu along with every specialty cocktail and its ingredients, and every bottle of wine offered including its region and grape varietal. On top of all this, there are always the daily specials. Learning a restaurant’s menus can sometimes be no simple feat, with the number of ingredients and techniques on some easily running into the hundreds.

And it’s not just the food knowledge that needs to be studied. Because no two restaurants ever run the same way, there’s also the computer system, floor plan, company history and countless other details like the first step to follow in case a health inspector rolls through.

However, all of that is the easiest part of the job. Working in the FOH of a restaurant is pretty much all service work---and with that comes the customers.

For the most part, the majority of diners who eat out at restaurants are normal and treat the staff with respect like a fellow human being. But then there are those certain people who from the moment they interact with the host or sit down at their table, you know they’re going to require a lot more handholding. From snapping their fingers or manically waving their hand to get your attention, to initiating confrontation or openly patronizing you somehow in front of their tablemates, these guests get off on exhibiting any form of power. It’s one thing if these customers have been provoked with bad service or unprofessional behavior, but I am referring to those who do it regardless.

It took me a bit of time to learn how to handle customers like this, but when I did, the solution was so formulaic that it became second nature. It’s at that moment where I would tell myself that this is my job and livelihood, and I’ll be damned if this person thinks they’re getting away with this.

What I gleaned is that most of these customers just want to get a reaction from you before they want an actual solution. The most important thing is to always provide professional service no matter what, but without being overtly nice. Without fail, be firm with your answers and never show that they’re getting to you in any way because they usually respond to that. Accept the situation and play along in their warped game---it can even be a little fun sometimes.

Working in a restaurant is honest work, and that’s something else I’ve always appreciated. In an office, it can be easy to fey busyness while secretly reading blogs or shopping for a new sex toy on your computer. In a restaurant, you’re either working or you’re not---there’s no bullshitting around it and everyone around you knows it. Downtime in any well-managed restaurant doesn’t exist because the side work that needs to get done never ceases. Once during a slow lunch shift, a fellow server of mine and I caught up on each other’s lives as we wiped down all the walls of the restaurant because we wouldn’t be caught dead doing that casually with our arms crossed.

Whether it’s handling four plates and glassware at once, or lugging bottle upon bottle of booze to be restocked, restaurant work is extremely physical. You’re running around on your feet the entire time, and there are nights when the floor is so busy and you’re getting your ass handed to you that it’s impossible to even go take a piss until 5 hours into your shift. I didn’t mind workdays like those, because it would all go by so fast. At the end of it, my fellow colleagues and I would also feel this sense of pride of getting through it with relatively no major problems, knowing that if we could get through that, we could get through anything.

One of the best things about working in a restaurant is the camaraderie and teamwork it involves, because there’s no position in any restaurant that can be done alone. Everyone needs to rely on and work with someone else. Every position is required to bust their ass and give it their all, and if management has done a good job in assembling a likeminded team, then the outcome results in both the customers having an awesome experience and the staff having a great time providing that. And for those times you majorly fuck up, it’s just a known fact that you will get screamed at until you might want to cry, especially if it has something to do with the food. The chef and the kitchen will have no problem reaming you out until they can’t speak or throw shit around anymore, but in the end you’ll learn the valuable lesson to never fuck up in the same way again. In restaurants, that’s how lessons are taught.

It’s not always just all stress and bullshit though. Most customers are great, and they let you know that not everything has to be so serious all the time. There are also always going to be those particular nights where something special that requires celebration is happening, and shots of booze will be furtively had by employees during the shift. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it always adds an extra layer of fun.

With eating and drinking being such a primal thing, any work that’s related to it will bring out the entire range of emotions people are capable of experiencing. From absolute euphoria and praise, to a drunken rage that the customer will most likely not remember the next day, anyone who’s worked in restaurants has seen everything.

And at that moment where I’m sitting at a restaurant, enjoying my meal during the zenith of controlled chaos in a busy dinner service, it makes me miss it all.
The Chicken Leg Over Rice at the Taiwan Pork Chop House in Chinatown is the absolute bomb. It's quite a meal for $5.25. I used to just order it to go and eat it at home since it isn't too far, but I recently tried having it at the restaurant by myself to dine-in. I was fortunate to be given table 12 of the restaurant, which is a tiny two-seater in the corner. Sitting there was especially great because one of the chairs faced the back wall, leaving me with no distractions except for sauces, plastic cutlery, the menu taped onto the wall, and my food. It was there that I realized how crispier and tastier the chicken leg tasted compared to eating it as take-out.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

"Dust yourself off and try again."

From the song Try Again by Aaliyah.
"It's been a long time.
We shouldn't of left you,
without a dope beat to step to."

From the song Try Again by Aaliyah.
The more I think about it, "Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead" is really a great title.
"You used to call me on my cell phone."

From the song Hotline Bling by Drake.
It's pretty late and I can't sleep. That's when I suddenly remembered an interview or podcast I recently listened to, where the interviewee talked about always having insomnia. She mentioned how she one day made the decision to start staying busy by doing something until her body would literally want to go to sleep.

It's past 4am, and that's where I'm at now.
The past few weeks or so.