The Soul of Bread

Title: 愛的麵包魂 (The Soul of Bread)
Type: movie – Taiwanese
Director: Pin-Chuan Kao
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Summary: “A charming breadmaker comes up with a unique plan to save a small-town bakery from going under, but he also gets tangled up in a love triangle with the owner’s daughter and her baker boyfriend.” (source: amazon.com)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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O’Sulloc Green Tea Milk Spread

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While traveling in Seoul, one of the places I wanted to visit was O’Sulloc (오설록), a café that specializes in all things tea, particularly Jeju Island green tea. If you ever plan to travel to South Korea, I definitely recommend going to an O’Sulloc branch and trying out their green tea latte. Utterly divine.

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Look at that hot serif in all caps… just kidding. But that logo…

Anyway, while I was shopping around Insa-dong (인사동), I came across an O’Sulloc branch. I wandered inside, and a small glass jar filled with some green substance caught the corner of my eye. I walked over, grabbed the jar, and read the serif font that splayed across the label: Green Tea Milk Spread. Wait, did my eyes deceive me? Green Tea? Milk? WHAT?! Would it taste like matcha milk tea?

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Don’t let the green gross you out

I contemplated for several days before saying “F it, YOLO,” and bought the 8000won jar. When I came home, I was so excited to try it. I immediately broke the seal, and an intense green tea aroma greeted my nostrils and made my mouth water. The spread is thick and smooth. I greedily sampled it, and my smile disappeared. It was like eating frosting. I enjoyed the subtle taste of green tea, but that was all it offered. There was no explosion of green tea flavor. The sweetness, probably from the amount of sugar added, overpowered the bitterness of green tea.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it makes whole wheat bread—utterly dry and bland—taste great. Add slices of banana on top of the spread, and you got yourself breakfast. Though, for me, I can only handle eating it once a week. Hopefully I can figure out what to do to find the perfect balance of sweetness. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

If you love sweet things and green tea flavored goodies, then maybe O’Sulloc Green Tea Milk Spread should be your go-to spread on bread 🙂

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udon

One of my friends loves saying “#udou,” which I often read it as “udon,” hence the title of this post. For those who don’t know, “you do you” is “the act of doing the things that you normally do. Nothing more, nothing less. Just being yourself and showing everyone who’s boss around here” (source: urbandictionary).

The other day I was out with some friends who are my juniors (i.e. they’re still in high school or college). I haven’t seen some of them in a while, so we jump right into pleasantries like “how are you” or “what’s been going on in your life.” Then this conversation preceded…

Friend A: Did you graduate yet, Marisa?
Me: Yeah, I did.
Friend A: Finally… took you long enough

What. Did my ears hear correctly? Now, text is pretty hard to convey mockery, but it sounded like I was being judged for taking six years to graduate. I let it slide but it did remind me of times when an acquaintance often joked that I was never going to graduate.

Yes, it took me six years, but I proudly wear that fact like a medal because it could have been longer due to budget cuts. I am fortunate enough to even have studied in higher education, something my mom didn’t have the opportunity to do. So what if it did take me an extra two years than the norm? I am doing things my way, just like you’re doing things your way. Everyone’s moving along at their own pace. Is that so wrong?

I hope I don’t sound passive aggressive because that isn’t the intent. I think as long as you have a goal in mind and you’re enjoying the journey towards that goal, then it’s okay to move through life at the pace you want to go.

#udou

Indian Garden

My friends and I ventured out to Indian Garden in Pleasanton. The restaurant was very quaint, and the staff was very attentive.

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Paneer Tikka Masala ($12.99) and Plain Naan ($1.99)

I ordered Paneer Tikka Masala and Plain Naan. I asked for medium spiciness, which to my surprise, wasn’t too spicy. I take it as a sign my mouth can finally handle spicy food! Success!

Anyway, the Paneer Tikka Masala is rich in flavor and the spices did not assault my palate. I liked the paneer’s texture because it was firm like a fried tofu. I’ve had some experiences with crumbly paneer, and I wasn’t too fond of that texture. The naan is incredibly moist and it complemented the sauce. I think there was some oil drizzled on it to add flavor, but I’m not sure what kind of oil they used. I was tempted to order another batch to-go and munch on it without anything.

I want to go back and try a different spiciness level and samosas. I definitely recommend going if you ever in the area and craving some Indian food.

When a Wolf Falls in Love With a Sheep

b3ekax61_a9d7b0_c2xTitle: 南方小羊牧場 (When a Wolf Falls in Love With a Sheep)
Type: movie – Taiwanese
Director: Chi-Jan Hou
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Coming-of-age

Summary: “Life is tough in a big city. Especially for a young Taiwanese photocopy clerk, whose recent breakup haunts him day in and day out. But like all urban romance he soon meets the eccentric manic pixie of his dream. And together they struggle to get their lives back on track.” (source: imdb.com)

Rating: ★★★★☆

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What’s next?

For twenty years, I have been in school. I’m sure others spend more or less time than I have, but we all probably have the same question running through our minds after graduation: What now? What’s next?

A few weeks ago I graduated from university. I spent six years pursuing a higher education and earning my Bachelor’s in Graphic Design and Linguistics. Throughout those six years, I knew my end goal and I knew what I needed to do to achieve that goal. Here I am, beginning a new chapter in my life. It’s daunting yet exhilarating not knowing what lies in store. However, I feel like a lost animal aimlessly wandering because I don’t know what my new goal is.

Find a job? Cold. Find a job that pays the bills? Warm. Find a job that values you? Definitely hot… but also, I believe, a bit difficult to come by.

In the last semester of school, we had many alumni from the graphic design program come to our class to give us advice on scoring interviews, making the transition from school to work, and building our portfolios. One guest speaker left some valuable nuggets that have been running through my head as of late:

  • “Know what you want”
  • “Know your worth”
  • “Your most valuable asset is you”

These words of wisdom ring loudly as I enter this new chapter. Keeping them in mind really shifts my focus from simply finding a job to finding a job that values me. I admit, I’m neither outspoken nor assertive, and I struggle in voicing my needs and wants. I frequently find myself justifying why my job treats me the way they do. Don’t get me wrong, my jobs, past and current, have treated me alright. However, every time I take a step back and reflect, I realize that I frequently overlook the obstacles I’ve overcame and the skills I’ve gained. As a result, I fail to realize that I frequently downplay my worth. At the end of the day, I think it doesn’t matter how much you get paid because if your job values you, it’ll reflect in how they treat you and you will be justly rewarded.

My advice: don’t be like me. Know that your experiences and opinions are just as valid as anyone else in your work environment. Sure, you still have a lot of learn, but you still bring insight that maybe your coworkers haven’t thought of. Your personal journey is unique and valuable and important. “Your most valuable asset is you.”

Dreaming Cow Yogurt

Honey Pear & Vanilla Agave
Honey Pear & Vanilla Agave
Maple Ginger & Dark Cherry Chai
Maple Ginger & Dark Cherry Chai

I can never refuse cute packaging; I literally gravitate towards it. Although Dreaming Cow yogurt’s consistency is runny, I didn’t think it ruins the taste. I bought them at a local Safeway, which only carries four flavors. I recommend trying three of the four flavors (see below). Visit dreaming cow website for more info 🙂 I hope they sell the other flavors soon!

Honey Pear: Subtle pear flavor that is overpowered by honey flavor. Honey balances out the tartness of yogurt.

Vanilla Agave: The flavor is neither bland nor too tarty. If you want to try something safe and nothing too exotic, I recommend trying this flavor.

Maple Ginger: I wish I could add more maple syrup, but I didn’t have any at home. I wish I could finish it like the others, but I couldn’t. I was never fond ginger, and I was expecting the yogurt to have more of a maple taste with literally a day of ginger. Nope. If you’re a fan of ginger, then this flavor is for you. Otherwise, stay far away from it.

Dark Cherry Chai: Hints of spice complements cherry flavor. It doesn’t taste like the cherry flavor you find in medicine either.