Archive | January 2012

The Next 14 Days

Hey one and all! Due to February being a special month — with both the day of lovers and an extra day due to leap year — the next 14 days will be dedicated to (you guessed it) Valentine’s Day!!!

Image

Valentine's day: when even dandelions can be romantic

I’ll be writing about the first things that come to mind when I think of Valentine’s day, what confuses me, what I think is unnecessary or weird and what I really like about the day. Hopefully I won’t offend or upset anyone… [ I don’t mean any harm… Really!!! ]

Til tomorrow then 🙂

Advertisements

Pork Fried Rice?

As everyone knows (or should know), American Chinese food is by no means real Chinese food. The idea that flavors are limited to sweet and sour, stir fried noodles and rice is ludicrous. Are you really willing to believe that a population over 1.3 billion hasn’t thought of changing the food they eat even once? To create something new? Even children periodically want to change their after-school snacks…

But, aside from that I’ve been wondering about some of the names of population American-Chinese dishes. Many dishes, from their names, make very little sense. To make my point, I’d like to point out a few errors in American-Chinese dish nomenclature:

1. Pork fried Rice – the name would imply that the dish is fried. However, this dish is not oil submerged at all: it’s stir-fried. So… exactly why is it called pork fried rice? It’s not fried at ALL…

2. Sesame Chicken – the name would imply that it contains sesame. Guess what it lacks? That’s right: sesame. Ok this one is a little more forgivable since it could very much depend on the restaurant or region. However, overall, it is known to be without sesame… other than the occasional *sprinkle on a ton of sesame at the very end after the dish is finished and pretend there’s actually purpose for it aside from the name.*

3. General Tso’s Chicken – I’m sorry, but it’s not actually related to any general. It is named after a General, but there is actually no connection whatsoever between the man and the dish. Random.

4. Sweet and Sour Chicken – Ok, I’ll admit this one is probably just based on my region/the restaurants I’ve been to. However, I’d like to point out that the sweet and sour chicken is by no means sweet and sour. It’s more like.. normal chicken over here… Don’t know if they’re lazy here or just plain can’t cook. Either way, it’s neither sweet nor sour.

5. Chicken Fingers – First of all, they’re not chicken “fingers.” At all. Yes, that sounds stupid since no one really thinks or believes that they’re chicken “fingers,” but Chinese people actually do eat chicken “fingers.” Therefore, it’s incorrect and just highly Americanized. That brings me to the second thing: they’re not Chinese. Chicken fingers are things you’d expect to find in a KFC, and are no in any way a Chinese dish. Period.

The last thing is not a misnomer, but just a fail in my opinion.

Sushi – I’m sorry — really really sorry — but sushi is NOT Chinese. Ok, sure you can say that Japanese people according to history originated from China, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s not Chinese. It just makes little sense to me to stick a bunch of sushi in a Chinese restaurant. I know it’s become the norm, but I just don’t understand why the norm existed in the first place. Why did the first immigrants think “hey let’s put some sushi in our Chinese restaurant”? *sigh* The things I don’t understand…

Well, anyways the errors I find in these foods don’t suggest I want anything to really change. Or rather, I’m quite aware that the norm, once in place, is not such an easy thing to correct.

Despite all of this I still do on occasion each American Chinese food. Sometimes you just want something quick, easy, and effortless I guess… Plus, considering that most of these generic restaurants don’t deviate from each other in terms of taste in the slightest, you know what to expect.

Cup in a Cake in a Cup

Cupcakes are different from cake in a cup

Apparently this is a big issue.

According to my local baker, they are very different and should be treated as such.
Some, it seems, don’t take this seriously.
They think they’re the same.
Apparently they are wrong.

I am 99% serious.

Why 99? Well by urban or “baker official” (or whoever coins these terms) definition, a cupcake is a intelligently designed cake to serve one person. They are frequently served in paper or thin aluminum cups. Many are frosted and adorned with sprinkles and such. The general size associated with a cupcake is that of a teacup (and as we all know, teacups come in only one size). Despite this, there are no regulations on cupcake size.

Image

Cake in a cup is what it sounds like: cake in a cup. How is it different? They are actually baked directly in a mug or cup. The point? I’m sure someone got too lazy to take out the muffin pan, grabbed a few mugs, bake the cakes and realized this looks pretty classy. Of course, it’s not always classy: it can be cute or cosy too.
There are also no size regulations for cakes in cup. The only rule is it must be in a cup

Image

So sure: they aren’t exactly the same. I guess…

Well, there is the 99% part.

What about that 1%?

To be honest — and this may be the stressed-our brain talking right now — I don’t really see the difference. Other than what you bake it in, it’s the same thing. They’re all just cake. Delicious, moist and tempting, but still just cake.

Let’s not start segregating cakes. They all go in the belly to get digested anyways. Yum.

Plus: there are better things in the world to argue about

*cough* Ninjas vs Pirates *cough*

Mainstream Music 101: For the Judgmental

So, I find there are usually 2 opinions on current mainstream music:

1) It’s awesome; it’s modern; it’s popular for a reason.

2) It’s not real music, it’s auto-tunned crap; it’s repetitive noise.

Of course, to those of you who think “you’re simplifying this way too much” or “you talk to the wrong people,” I’m quite aware that opinions are not limited to the ones I listed. However, I have noticed that those two radicals exist quite prominently, and like to collide (at least within my friend groups).

That conflict is what really interests me. Why? Well first of all, it’s always interesting to see two opinions about one thing collide: the exchange of ideas and arguments is intriguing.

The other part is what I’ve observed socially: the people who say they detest the music still dance to it at your usual social gatherings. Heck, they even know the words!
Yeah, you may say that’s because these songs are overplayed til everyone knows the words. Yet still, they dance to the songs, sing the lyrics and act like they truly enjoy what’s being played.

Why?

Well, upon further … research? I’m not quite sure what you’d call it — let’s just say observations — I’ve noticed that what is described by some as crappy mainstream music is what drives dances. These songs are the ones you can pump your fist to and shake your hips side to side while pretending you know what you’re doing. Their repetitive lyrics make it easy for people who don’t know the song to catch on quickly and pretend they know exactly what they’re singing. The pure simplicity of the songs make them ideal to dance to. Just imagine if dances played a bunch of obscure, complicated and unrepetitive songs: it’d make dances less enjoyable.

We enjoy dances because we can dance however we want and know what to expect. Yeah, the beats aren’t so unique and the lyrics aren’t poetic in any sense, but that’s exactly what we’re looking to dance to.

This doesn’t change the quality of the music, or how these songs are drastically overplayed, but at least it gives some reason to their insane popularity.
Haters: hate less.

Reasons and Beginnings

The year of 2012.

New adventures, new places, new faces…

And new choices.

Here’s one.

This is my first real blog (others were more like…. mind-barf with no form of English grammar present, not to say this will not be similar: it will be mind barf, but with punctuation!). I hope to use this for whatever I feel like: troubles in my life, philosophical tangents I happen upon or why I don’t like asparagus.

If you have enough patience and sanity (or insanity I should say) feel free to read and comment. Warning however for those of you brave enough:

Quality is not guaranteed.

Well then, cheers!