A dash of yogi wisdom to start: In the classical Vedanta (the school of Indian spiritual philosophy that views everything – you, God, the Universe – as one manifestation of the same consciousness), three basic questions arise:
- Who am I emotionally, mentally, physically at this moment? [being in tune with yourself]
- Where am I right now? [relates to paying attention to your environment, as well as acknowledging the goods and bads of your situation]
- What am I supposed to do right now? [being the present, being proactive]
More on this here. Thought that was cute and simple. So here are my three questions for you based off of my Monday [update on Pride coming later…for good reason]:
一。 1. What are you passionate about?
Ok, new phase (#5? #6?). Thanks to Aida’s suggestion (who’s working at Food & Water Watch this summer), I watched Food Inc. Got about 10 minutes into it before the first flood of tears said hello. It took another 15 before the next one came along. I seriously considered going vegetarian after the first segment but realized I love the taste of meat too much. Plus, it’s California. You can be pretty sure that when you go to a wholesome market/restaurant that the food will be organic or something along those lines.
Yes, I know. Where have you been? Why haven’t you seen anything like this? I’m sorry! I grew up in Hong Kong where really, the only concept of organic is eating a salad for lunch (what?). I lie, there are some stores opening up like ThreeSixty that are organic. I lie again: I actually had never heard of it until I googled, so I guess that proves how clueless I was until now about the world’s food.
So the new phase: douse myself with the food world – politics and all that juiciness included.
二。What can you make amends with?
Meet AJ. He’s the guy who asked me to join his Adult Fitness Swimming in the morning. And yes, I have been officially dragged back into the swim world after having just “retired”. I’ve been going every morning, since my sprained ankle doesn’t really leave me with any other options (my road bike has been moping in the corner next to the laundry).
This guy loves swimming. He can’t stop talking to me about technique, famous swimmers, and what not. I try to drop my line of expertise and he grabs it and runs off with it. It’s chill, and actually refreshing to hear his passion for the sport. He used to be one of those typical “destined for the Medical World” students, amassing amazing recommendations, perfect grades, working with top notch surgeons, getting the thumbs up from admission officers of different med schools…he never even considered the possibility he wouldn’t get in. And then he got rejected from 14 med schools. He didn’t try again.
Instead, he coaches swimming. Also met his wife through it, and lives for the satisfaction he gets when one of his kids makes a qualification cut. I get that. When I coached as a side job, there’s something so juicily satisfying when a kid figures out how to keep their arms at opposite ends on backstroke, or when they understand my crazy analogies like “scooping ice cream”.
So he gives me a few things to do in the morning. They’re pretty standard, not very creative, but it’s a nice hour to have. The best part is that I’m only swimming for fitness, which really let’s me just be in the moment. I’ve forgotten the numbers already – intervals, cuts, records, all of it. I just care about feeling how my hand embraces the water, my body rotates, my hips balance, and how my ankle suspends in zero gravity.
So it’s been good, surprisingly. I’m finally making amends with the water.
三。How many Harvard students does it take to shuck an oyster?
One as long as you don’t confuse it with “sucking”.
It was Jessica’s birthday, so we celebrated by going to the Tomales Bay Oyster Company.
Had a beautiful drive down (the weather is so much nicer inland compared to the bay) and a delicious lunch with raw oysters, cooked mussels and manila clams.
On the side we enjoyed some Mindoro Danish style blue cheese, Hooks 5 yr aged cheddar (both from Wisconsin), and a Vendeen Bichonne tomme. The last tomme I tried I enjoyed, but this one was too salty and milky for my liking. Was supposedly aged for 3 years in a deserted railroad tunnel. I am appreciating these creative locations for cheese aging. My thoughts on future possibilities:
- abandoned strip club
- in place of a battery for a clock
- in China
- Harvard Flyby
- Emma Watson’s car trunk (HP 7 countdown commences!)
- a hot air balloon
- Obama’s suit pocket
Daily Nutritional Report for Tuesday
– Lunch: a delicious beef stroganoff with mushrooms and garlic fettuccini made by Susan the master chef herself
– I dropped off a chocolate pod at the Tcho factory and treated myself to a hot chocolate “for the sake of the film” : I needed a shot of a heart shape foam design. Delicious, rich chocolate, although a little too milky for me.
– On my way home, I stopped by the Ferry Building and got myself a pork bun and a sticky rice from Vietnamese chef Charles Phan’s stylish take out bar: Out the Door. Both were hella fresh and surprisingly authentic. He has seven other restaurants of various cuisines and has made a name by using amazing local products while still maintaining the traditional flavors of each cuisine (mainly Vietnamese and Chinese). On my to-do list fosho.
– Aida and I made sweet potato gnocchi with white truffle olive oil, parmesan cheese, thyme, and caramelized mushrooms + onions.
Gnocchi is a simple recipe, but getting the dough (sweet potato, flour, salt, egg) to the right consistency was really hard! Also, the sweet potato we had was a light yellow color, so its flavor was not as intense. Our final result was yummy, but not mind blowing. The white truffle and parmesan nailed it, but I wish the gnocchi had a deeper sweet potato essence. Nonetheless a success.
How to shuck an oyster: stick. wiggle. [pout] restick. stab. twist. open. Smile! You have now just killed an animal.