Friday, February 26, 2010

Then my heart shook with fear...

Fear takes many forms.  Fear that I would not find a job.  Fear that I would get hurt while I'm uninsured.  Fear of disappointing my parents.  But there is no greater fear than that of loosing one's life.  There have been quite a few times in my life when I questioned if I would live.  Not to sound like my life is in danger all the time, but there have been instances.  When I was a girl of 5 or 6, I was in a car accident in Canada.  I went snowboarding two years back and while coming down a hill something happened and I ended up laying on my back, totally still.  I swear I saw the light at the end of the tunnel.  Then a few months later while riding shotgun with a friend I experienced that "what if" when she turned into incoming traffic.  The uncertainty of what might happen is overwhelming.

In almost all of those situations, I questioned myself.

Am I proud of the life I lead up to this point?

I am an avid watcher of crime shows like CSI and Law & Order.  In those there are bound to be gunshots.  A sound which I am quite unfamiliar with.

Last night or rather early this morning, I was in bed but not yet asleep when i heard what I thought was 5 or 6 gunshots.  At first I was in denial.  I live in a residential neighborhood and rarely hear about robberies or break-ins.  Yet as I laid there, I considered what else those sounds could be.  A blown tire? A plastic bottle a car went over?

This unrecognizable fear and questioning set it.  Is everything okay?  Are we safe?  What happened?
I could have brushed it off as something that happened in the distance until police cars rolled up.  Then more questions came up.

Of all things to be afraid of... the unknown is by far the most daunting.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cruising along

Over a week and a half has passed by since graduation.  Almost all of my great friends have moved back home and the few still in NY have started or are preparing to start working.  Which leaves me to think about where my life is heading.

I had my first interview today in Manhattan.  I was so nervous I barely slept the night before.  I can't help but think I was over dressed.  The CIA dress code has been such a big part of my educational career that I went there in a button down, dress skirt and heels while my interviewer was in t-shit and jeans.  Overall I felt quite confidant.  Now to rock the trailing tomorrow!  I'm sure today and tomorrow is just the beginning of what I will be facing more often.

In other news, living at home is like a a throwback in time.  For the past 3 years I have been quite independant: no one to tell me when to go to bed or when to take my meals or report where I am and with whom I am out with.  I can say quite positivly, those days are OVER.  My parents, much love to them, are super protective.  Since thier bird that left the nest has finally flown home, they hover.. endlessly.  Strangely, I can't say I mind it all that much.  

One positive and negative aspect of living at home has to be the FOOD.  There is nothing better than a home cooked meal, not even what they serve at school compares.  
Dad made some crispy wings.

Juicy steak with sauteed spinach (not pictured)

My mother learned how to make Cha Sui from scratch. It's better than what the stores offer.

I also made, what i considered, a vat of chilli.  Somehow it got demolished in a day.

With all this food, I'm lucky if I can keep my weight the same. :)

Something I have been working on is photography.  My father has a great Canon Rebel and I have been playing around with it.  It's quite a change for someone who has been use to point and shoot cameras to learning how to manually set almost everything.  It's quite fun but I need to go out to take more pictures!
Here is a few that I like best.  Questions, comments and critiques are welcomed!

*It's all flower because there was nothing else that created the same effect.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Time stands still.

Graduation is over, post graduation fun is done and the festivities of the Lunar New Year has slowed dramatically.  What else is left to do?!?!?!

I'm already looking for jobs online.

I'm not moving forward or backward.  It's like a hamster or chinchilla running on the wheel. Better yet, someone on a treadmill.

I passed this while walking back to my room a few days before graduation.
It was just.... random.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day and New Year

So I am late to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day, but it's the sentiment that counts right?

This year I was not dwelling on being single or how everyone was all love-y dove-y but I was more focused on celebrating the Lunar New Year with my family.  For the past two days I have been feasting on delicious Chinese food my mother has spent time making.

Coupled with Friday's feasting trip, I have consumed way too many calories.  It's time for some workout?!

Friday, February 12, 2010

And so it ends, or maybe it should be: So it begins.

Dad, Me and Mom

Yesterday was a joyous day; after 3 long years I have graduated from the Culinary Institute of America with my Bachelors of Professional Studies in Baking and Pastry Arts. So is it the end or is it the beginning?
As of now, it's the end of my educational path. I leave the school that I have called home for over 3 years. It is possibly one of the hardest things to do, to leave the room I love (which is bigger than the one I'm returning to at home), the friends I cherish and the great food.
However there is the beginning of something new: my career! Is has been quite daunting to pursue employment. While some of my fellow classmates have already secured positions, I am still seeking one that fits me and one that I fit with. The numerous opportunities are here, there and everywhere. To find myself the perfect one will take time, but I am fully prepared!
A day after graduating, I was fortunate to see my great friend, Karni, graduate with an Associates in Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts. Buddies from our time in baking classes that started in 2007, we are quite inseparable. To celebrate, we going to head to New York City.

Me and Karni after her graduation.

On my own, I headed down to Manhattan to go for a "scavenger Hunt" that a great friend of mine, JJ, prepared as a graduation gift. I placed scavenger hunt in quotes because he set everything up as a surprise to come visit. It is quite possibly the best gift. We headed to Flushing Queens for some Steamed Pork Buns before we headed back into Manhattan to meet Karni. The three of us went over to Max Brenner. Toasting some marshmallows with JJ.

One chocolate cocktail and chocolate fondue later we headed off. Max Brenner. One chocolate cocktail and chocolate fondue later we headed off. We had dinner on St. Mark's Place in the East Village. The Japanese "restaurant," which had no English name was located between 2nd and 3rd Ave was packed with American patrons and just as many Japanese ones. The menu had more Japanese on it than English, but thankfully... pictures are worth a thousand words. Under an hour later, we headed across the street to introduce JJ to some Pinkberry. I believe we made a follower out of him. Yet in that 20 minutes, we realized Pomme Frites was right around the corner. Never to let an opportunity to have some great food escape, we headed over and ordered some fries with Sweet Mango Chutney Mayo, Parmesan Peppercorn and Rosemary Garlic Mayo.
Karni and JJ enjoying some fries.

The culinary feast to celebrate was complete. We were all quite stuffed and content to have had some familiar food as well as some foreign food. Although the food was memorable, the time spent together was most defiantly unforgettable.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Find a job yet?! Nope, but I look the part.

The CIA hosted their winter career fair today. I always feel like I’m in a bubble walking into the fair. There are places I want to talk to and hand my resumes to but with all the other people I just get overwhelmed. Some people can circle the room once and get everything done. I go around in circles, at LEAST three, just to do all that I need to get done. Nevertheless, I get it done. No exceptions, no excuses.

I feel it’s important to look put together all the time; except in bed. But I digress. I see so many of my fellow college attendees who show up at the career fair like they just woke up and decided to go. Did they find that outfit from the hamper? Hopefully the clean hamper. Is a wrinkled shirt the style now? I think not! Some people just don’t seem to care.

So for my overall look I decided to go prim and proper with my grey slacks that have thin pink lines but added my fair with a magenta sweater that matches in hue. In the bleak NY weather, color is necessary. I also applied some light makeup. Nothing serious; I don’t want to wear a mask, I just want enough to cover blemishes, give a bit of color to my check and highlight my eyes.

Bare Escentuals Foundation in Medium Beige, MAC Blush in Pinch Me, Sephora Colorful Palette in Apricot Pulp, MAC LiquidLast Liner in Point Black

*Side note*
Apologize for the self portraits. I realize I need someone to take pictures for me.
I don't like what I'm limited to taking pictures of myself.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fashion is Art

So this will be my first attempt to incorporate fashion into this blog. First and foremost, i'm not a trend-setter or a thrift store guru or even a couture gal. I started getting into fashion because about a year and a half to two years ago my very trendy cousin decided my L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer and such wardrobe was an eyesore. There's nothing wrong with those stores, but for a 19 year old, it was a bit drab.
Since then, I have developed my style which I am thankful for. It has evolved from what my cousin chose for me to include items that express who I am. Because my school requires students to be in business casual, many of the pieces in my collection can fit into various categories.
The purse I ordered four days back finally came even though I paid for second day air. Thats okay because I love it. Modcloth has me as a customer hook, line and sinker. In Hot Purse-uit can be dressy or casual. The lovely color is better than the standard black and the gold details are just adorable. It's nice and roomy so I can pack all my knick knacks and it even fits a writing pad or slim notebook.
I took it out tonight to dinner at our on campus restaurant for a spin.
Hat: Banana Republic, Jacket: Nordstrom's, Shirt: Forever 21,
Sweater: Laurie B., Corduroys: Delia's

My friend looked quite fetching herself.
Hat: Banana Republic, Sweater: Gap, Shorts: Forever 21, tights: uniqlo, boots: Aldo

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I'm an American...

Is there anything more American than football? or baseball? maybe hot dog and apple pie?

There was free soup during the Super Bowl at school. I went, i ate and i stayed a bit.
However, I'm not that big into the sport. Rather any sport when I think about it. It never felt odd to not follow a sport religiously but today I just felt lost. Colts? Saints? AFC? NFC? Maybe I'm too Asian. Then again, I was born and raised in America. My use of the English language is, what I consider, above par. So maybe I'm not American enough.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Night Out

As a college student I always feel that I am broke.

There was a time where having fun and hanging out did not necessarily mean going out. On this particular night though, I am glad I decided to have a little fun. I was for the most part with people I knew and could talk to. We went to La Puerta Azul, a Mexican restaurant about 30 minute drive from campus. We ordered drinks and appetizers which we shared family style. It was by far an amazing dinner. Conversation among 8 people was hard to work out, but that moment where I sat back and just scanned the table, I noticed the harmony.

Savoring the Moment

As a student of the world and one that loves food to boot, it's a sad day when I come to realize that I will be leaving my beloved Hyde Park NY. Sure it has been over 3 long years, but the food away from school will be more missed than that of the food served AT school. Which says something since this school is The Culinary Institute of America.
I journeyed, what I believe will be my last time, to Rossi's. In a nondescript corner of a quiet back street, it seems that only those who respect good food know where to look for it. Even before setting foot in the door, the five senses kick into high gear. The simple building with its stripped awning and minimalist windows. But once I step in, you are transported into a different world. There is a bustle of people in line waiting to pay or waiting to order. The sound of the register, the footsteps of moving patrons. With only a narrow space between the refrigerated display and the back wall of oils, vinegars, jellies, frozen pasta and various other items it only allows about two person to stand abreast in each direction. Once I approach the back to order, I smell the daily soup, the pasta and who can forget the fresh bread.
Within a few minutes my order has been taken and the line shuffles along. As someone takes my panini off the press to cut, I see the golden color and hear that crunch as the knife glides through. Crinkling paper signals my order is done just as i approach the register. A quick exchange of money, and I'm out the door.
A hop, skip and jump later I'm the car. Do I even bother to wait?
Of course NOT!
Unwrapping the sandwich is feels like Christmas day when I was young. That excitement and impatience to tear through the paper to get to the prize. The balsamic and oil waifs through and with the first bite, the unmistakable crunch of pressed bread. I have reached sandwich heaven.

Friday, February 5, 2010

First Steps

A baby on the verge of his first step has slight hesitation and the overwhelming curiosity to see what there is to explore. Just like that baby, I am equally hesitant and most defiantly curious to venture out and put my thoughts, dreams and ideas out there. Out here. Once the first step is placed there is no turning back.