Dining Table

July 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

It all feels vaguely familiar.

I was always sitting at the dining table with my laptop wearing day-old clothes and surrounded by a mysteriously growing mess of half-empty cups, nearly empty bags of Japanese snacks with chopsticks sticking out — why get fingers dirty?–, and pens, pens, pens. A lot of the time I was alone and typing away at paper that I shouldn’t have put off until the last minute. I had music emitting from speakers I pretended didn’t exist. Instead, the music, the notes, the husky ooOOOooh’s, I’d like to think they float from a nondescript place and wrap around my body, circling in a spiral until above my head, and then uncurl. In a wavering line, up and down, they danced away into the shadows. I was kept company by a hamster that looked like a miniature cow, a neurotic dog that saw me as a skinny food dispensing machine with legs — I guess it didn’t help that I perpetuated her belief by constantly feeding her whenever she looked at me–, and Macbooks that had the bruises and battle scars of belonging to college students.

Over a year later, I’m sitting alone with my computer at the dining table working away on an assignment due the next day. Everything is different. I miss the moocow hamster and the neurotic dog that thought I was her equivalent of a walking refrigerator. The current Macbook has no marks except for the hungry Kirby sticker on the front and pretends to be an Ipad except without the touchscreen and with a keyboard– it refuses to be reduced to being called a “netbook”. The dining table is half the size of the old one and cleaner; the mess is gone and one can actually see the original color of the table. The cups are diligently washed and put away. The Japanese snacks are neatly hidden away in the cabinets.

But it feels familiar just enough that I’m half expecting Cheng and Diana to walk through the front door so we could talk about our day.

Growing up isn’t as much fun when you’re so far away from best friends. Life and airplane ticket prices get in the way.

Cheng’s MAcc Graduation, May 2010
Diana, Cheng, Me

Macarons

July 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

The road to my heart is marked and littered with the absentminded and unintended brush strokes of dirty paintbrushes and the crumbs from macarons.

Macarons are my favorite confectioneries.

Fayyyyvouuurite.

This delectable sweet is my weakness.

However, it should not to be confused with the macaroon. There’s an extra “o” in the second word, yes, but man oh man does that extra “o” make a difference. It’s a letter! One letter! How can that one letter do so much damage and cause such a huge difference? For one, that “o” signifies that the cookie is the American version, which has coconut as the main ingredient and tastes like cake-y in its moist, dense structure. I love coconut; I especially love toasted coconut, and I love anything sweet so I like macaroons, but those little coconut cookies have nothing on my beloved French confectionery that look like little jewels. The lack of the extra “o” signifies the French version of the macaroon– it is the French spelling–, which has ground almonds as the main ingredient and has a filling sandwiched between two cookies that have a light, meringue airyness. The French macaron is gorgeous in its color saturation, delicate in its structure, and so incredibly varied in its multitudes of flavors that range from the traditional, for example: French vanilla, chocolate, and raspberry, to the super creative such as green tea, lavender, black sesame or even cayenne pepper.

In the DC area, places to find good macarons are:

Patisserie Poupon
1645 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC, 20007

Praline Bakery & Restaurant
4611 Sangamore Rd
Bethesda, MD, 20816

However, to find the best macarons in DC, please go here: Michel’s Patisserie

My favorite place for the macarons in DC– the best macarons in DC, actually– is Michel’s Patisserie because of the combination of classic, like chocolate, French vanilla, and raspberry, and interesting flavors such as red velvet, lychee, and matcha in each box. The macarons from Michel’s are lovely because they have a crisp outershell but are so creamy inside and with just the right amount of chew. The almonds have been finely, finely ground and there is no grainyness, which is an unfortunate characteristic in some macarons I’ve eaten from Patisserie Poupon. There is no physical storefront however. Instead, the macarons are available for free pickup from several places in and around the DC area: DC, Arlington, Reston, and Alexandria. They are also available for delivery, nation-wide even! However, please don’t consider this option if the recipient lives in California; instead order from ‘lette, with storefronts in Beverly Hills and San Francisco.

UPDATE: For images of Michel’s Patisserie’s macarons, please go here.

I love the Iphone for all the wrong reasons

July 8, 2010 § 1 Comment

On re-arranging the Iphone icons:

Me: How do I get the icons on the Iphone to dance?
Wayne: [confused by my wording, then understands] Press your finger on an icon and hold it.
Me: Yup. Found it. …Now I just let them dance. Dance little icons! Dance!

Three Cup Chicken

July 7, 2010 § 1 Comment

Over the 4th of July weekend, Wayne went to Las Vegas with a couple of his guy friends he’s known since childhood to properly celebrate his best friend turning 21. I decided to visit one of my friends from USC who had moved to Philadelphia roughly two years ago and is about to move to Tennessee at the end of the month. Roughly two years ago I promised I would visit her in Philadelphia. When I found out that she would soon be moving to Tennessee, I booked a bus ticket because I only had a couple weeks to make good on a promise that I had more than two years to keep.

When I travel, the only thing I like doing, really, is eating. When I’m not eating, I’m reading reviews on yelp to figure out where to eat next. For one of our meals, I picked a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown that also served decent Taiwanese food, because, after a year of dating a Taiwanese guy and almost always eating Taiwanese food when eating out, I was kind of craving beef noodle soup and three cup chicken.

On ordering off the “secret” Chinese/Taiwanese menu at Empress Garden in Philadelphia:

Me: Uh oh. There’s a problem.
Shabad: Hmm? What’s that?
Me: Er, you know how most Chinese places have two menus? Like they have the regular menu and then they have the “secret” menu for Chinese people?
Shabad:  There’s a secret menu?
Me: Yeah, secret as in there’s no orange beef on it. [points to “Orange Beef” written in English on the front of the menu] They have a menu reserved for customers who want more traditional dishes…only this one is written in Chinese [flips menu to the back and shows the lines and lines of Chinese characters– of which, I can only understand the characters for “three” and “beef”]
Shabad:…Erm.
Me: I’m going to call Wayne…and ask him to order for me.

[calls Wayne]

Wayne: Hello?
Me: Hiiii. How do you say “three cup chicken”?
Wayne: San bei ji
Me: [repeats in a manner that closely resembles Joey from “Friends” when he was trying to learn French phonetically]
Wayne: San bei ji
Me: …Okay, ermmm, I’m going to call you back when our waitress comes by so you can order for me.
Wayne: [completely unfazed, unperturbed, un-weirded out that he is being asked to order for his girlfriend while he is in Vegas and she is in Philadelphia] Okay.
Me: Please pick up the phone! In a couple minutes! Or I’ll starve!
Wayne: Okay, I will.
Me: Bye!

About me

July 2, 2010 § 1 Comment

The last time I wrote an “About Me” was about three years ago. Despite the fact that this entire blog is one gigantic “About Me” and the fact that everything that I wrote three years ago is still true– except for the sad fact that I no longer live in LA, but I guess it was a good trade-off considering I gave up my city for love and close proximity to my mom–, I decided to write an updated one:

My name is Jenny.

I picked the name when I was four years old. It is the one of the few things that my four year old self and I still agree upon. We no longer agree that chocolate chip cookies are the best desserts in the whole wide world (little girlfriend has not tasted a tiramisu).

I live in the suburbs of the nation’s capital with my boyfriend who unknowingly signed on to play the straight man to all my comedic antics on our first date. He just thought I was this pretty, happy, sweet girl who likes dogs and chocolate. He wasn’t wrong, but he completely underestimated my personality, which is why most of our ridiculous arguments– that I accidentally start– end with:

Me: Dude, you totally knew what you were getting yourself into when we started dating.
Him [confused why half the argument consisted of my angrily saying, “meow meow meow”]: …No, I really didn’t.

He is half Taiwanese, half Nike Jordan with a passion for golf and electronics, specifically phones.

I love him with all my heart. And so does my family, especially my Mom. I am not sure who would more devastated if he and I ever broke up.

I like to write about my daily life with terms that usually describe food (I have no idea how true this actually is), give personalities to inanimate objects, and talk about how much I love my mom.

Some additional notes about me:

I adore bright colors so much that a part of me wonders if I were color blind in a past life.

My dream car is a sky blue Mini Cooper that I can decorate with green decals to resemble grass, brightly colored flower decals, and a goofy looking sun decal. I am completely apathetic about the performance of the car.

I love, love, LOVE used, incredibly cheap books. And I adore my 1cent Kitchen Confidential — granted, shipping was $3.99.

I believe in the Oxford comma.

I don’t take myself seriously, rarely get offended, and sometimes have a sardonic sense of humor. If I ever make fun of you, I’ll make fun of myself twice as much so you won’t feel alone.

Babysitting

July 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Sometimes I get this feeling that all the loving people in my life like to tag-team babysit me. Every spring break at USC, I stayed in LA. And every spring break, I always had one or two roommates ask their guy friends or boyfriends to check in on me occasionally, or just straight up babysit me. Even now when I’ve graduated and am currently away from my old roommates, there will always be someone I love who worries that I won’t be able to sleep alone. This was clearly demonstrated in a conversation with my mom earlier today:

Mom: So I was wondering if you wanted to come home to sleep since Wayne is leaving tonight and going to be gone a couple days? That way you won’t be lonely.
Me: …But aren’t you, Dad, and D (nickname for my little brother– just so you know, neither his American first name nor his Chinese first name begin with a “D”) leaving in the early morning to go to China?…For a month?
Mom: Oh, right. Will you get scared sleeping alone? Call a friend and have her sleep over.
Me: I think I’ll be okay, Mom.

While others might think this conversation would be annoying if they were to have it with their moms, I thought it was really sweet.

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