Friday, December 26, 2014

Anytime I put off a task and tell myself I'll do it later or tomorrow, that's when the trouble always begins.
"Nevertheless, I hope that when I die, I will be writing or reading a book at my desk late one snowy night and I will simply put my head down and close my eyes forever. I want that to be the last image of me on this earth."

From the book, I'll Be Right There, by Kyung-Sook Shin. Page 16.

Friday, December 19, 2014

"But the last stop on the Flushing Local line is just the beginning of the Korean strip. It stretches east for about five more miles, following the Long Island Rail Road tracks and Northern Boulevard all the way into Nassau County. There are hundreds of restaurants in Murray Hill, Auburndale, Bayside and Beyond, serving famous Korean dishes and obscure ones: beef barbecue and blood sausage; wheat noodles in deep steaming bowls and arrowroot noodles in chilled broth with ice crystals; tofu casseroles and live octopus; Korean-Chinese restaurants and Korean-French bakeries; beery pubs and studious expresso bars; chicken fried in a shattering crust of rice flour and chicken boiled with ginseng.

The Queens kimchi belt has got to be the least explored, discussed and celebrated of the city's great ethnic food-districts. For variety of dishes and excellence of cooking, the only areas that compete are the Japanese clusters in the East Village and the East 40s or the city's three Chinatowns. Koreatown in the West 30s, which was once strong, doesn't even get on the scoreboard.

'I believe that right now, Queens is the closest you can come to authentic Korean food,' said Hooni Kim, the chef of Danji and Hanjan in Manhattan and a frequent prowler of Northern Boulevard. Unlike the restaurants on 32nd Street in Manhattan, Mr. Kim said, 'the kitchens actually cook for Koreans.' And while there are excellent Korean places in and around Fort Lee, N.J., some of which have sibling branches in Queens, Mr. Kim said the flavors along the Northern Boulevard are closer to what he has tasted on his trips to South Korea.

From the December 16, 2014 New York Times article, In Queens, Kimchi Is Just the Start: Pete Wells Explores Korean Restaurants in Queens, written by Pete Wells.

Fact: Flushing, Queens has the best Korean food in New York City.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Many gay men that I work with see their bodies through the lens of future attainments. By this I mean that they tolerate their current body because they hold the belied that in a few months or years, it will be much improved. 'I need to lose this layer of body fat so my abs will show.' 'When summer comes, I will be in top shape for the beach.' They never actually accept their body as it is in the present moment."

From the book The Velvet Rage, written by Alan Downs PHD. Page 190.
In a work meeting a few weeks ago, the topic of personal blogs and blogging came up. The discussion on the matter was short and a bit random, but the one thing that was determined was that personal blogs have changed a lot in the past few years. And by "changed," meaning people don't update their personal blogs anymore, like ever.

That struck a note with me, because it's absolutely right.

I have been blogging here for quite some time now, and it is true that so many blogs I once enjoyed reading are just neglected now with the majority of them not having been updated for years. It bums me out, but life happens. I'm sure these former bloggers are in a new phase in their life where updating their site is something they no longer have time for, or something that doesn't even cross their mind anymore. Or maybe they've switched platforms and no longer care for Blogspot? Or perhaps their new fiancé or baby takes up much of their time now? Who knows, everyone has their own reasons.

And now I'm trying to think of what my own reasons are for not updating as much as usual. I know for a fact that among many other things, a part of it is laziness. But besides that, I don't really have many other excuses. I guess a part of it also has to do with the fact that I am getting older, and to some extent I feel like I should have my shit together at this age. But I don't feel like I have my shit together---and I'm not sure if that's something I want to always share here for all of my non-existent readers. Having your shit together can mean a lot of things to many people, but for me personally, I don't know if I'm anywhere close to feeling that. But then that also makes me think, will I ever feel like I have my shit together? Probably not. And I don't say that to be pessimistic, but only because I've recently come to a better understanding about my personality and the reasoning behind why I act and think the way I do sometimes. This learning process comes to me in small nuggets, but oh man when I truly do learn something about why my brain automatically thinks this or that, I treasure that information and use it as a tool to become better and happier in whatever way I can.

So about feeling like things are not where I'd like them to be in my life by this age, I know that's not just about accomplishing all of my life's goals. But it's also about realizing that in a lot of ways, I do have my shit together and I have gotten some stuff done.

And that is why I will continue on writing here.

Sometimes I'll read old entries here from years ago, and it feels so satisfying to see how much I've grown and bettered myself since then. But then again I know there's still a lot more work that needs to be done.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

"The Arab Spring, at first glance, didn't seem to have much to do with climate change. But, it does. One of the ways it caused the Arab Spring was through the spike in basic grain prices that happened between 2010 and 2011. When people can't get the basic necessities of life, they riot. There also were these basic economic demands of the rising cost of living, which were linked to the price of imported grain. It's not to reduce the Arab Spring to a matter of climate change, but you could see how that food-price spike was a trigger."

Said by author/journalist, Christian Parenti, on Journey to Planet Earth: Extreme Realities. PBS.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

"'I have to lose weight first,' she said.
'You're just afraid.'"

From the book Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Page 522.
"What the fuck is rong with you?
What the fuck is rong with you?
What the fuck is rong with you?
What the fuck is rong with you?
What the fuck is rong with you?
What the fuck is rong with you?
What the fuck is rong with you?
What the fuck is rong with you?
You're just so fucking rong."

From the song Rong by Royksopp.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

"The pleasure of biting down on this pizza is both physical and auditory. The noise detonates along the jaw and plows right into the inner ear. Every bite sounds and feels like that."

From the December 2, 2014 New York Times Restaurant Review: Danny Meyer's Marta in Nomad, written by Pete Wells.

Monday, December 01, 2014

"There are many reasons why Korean fried chicken is such a superbly satisfying eating experience. Fingers aren't spoiled, because the sauce is lightly brushed on, and only after the chicken is cooked. The meat remains juicy, because the bird is cooked at a lower temperature than its American brethren. The chicken is dipped in a very finely ground flour, and, as a result, the shell is paper-thin, almost translucent; it is pierced, not shattered, on first bite. Because the skin and flesh is cooked evenly, the disconcerting layer of fat in between is exorcised. Although Turntable offers a soy-and-garlic sauce, the hot and spicy is the main event, with a slow and subtle burn. A plate of wings with a side of pickled daikon rash is the ideal mix of salty and sour, crunchy and chewy. Human tastebuds are powerless again such a deeply addictive sequence. All there is to do is add soju, and repeat."

From Tables for Two and written by Amelia Lester in the December 8 2014 issue of The New Yorker.