Posts Tagged ‘resourcefulness’

i wrote about having a non-kitchen before. and as much as i complained about it, i kind of quite liked it. it was challenging, and frustrating, and produced laughably small electricity and gas bills.

and then tb did this…

do you see it?!

a ballin’ convection oven.

that’s right.

so in true younger sibling fashion, i promptly started scheming and creating ridiculous bake-offs that would deem one person the coveted label of best-person-to-create-something-out-of-a-23-by-25-heated-appliance.

to set the vivid battle (i mean, baking) scene, it was kind of like north and south korea traded their army gear for oven mitts, set aside their nuclear missiles for spatulas, and created a mass shortage of nutmeg and cinnamon in the baking aisles of their respective foreign food marts.

i’m not too sure who was north or south, but here’s what went down…

appealing to the non-diabetic sufferers of the world, i made a straight-up bowl of sugar.

i called them “chocolate chip cookies.” but really, all sugar.

(one point for ambiguous korea).

and in the other corner (you know, the less aggressive one), tb ventured for the classic oatmeal something cookie packed with nutritional facts and probably some sort of ingredient that lowers your chances of cancer, high cholesterol, death, and sunburn. ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

both batches produced a ton of unflattering “mmmmms,” grunts, and gasps for air because as any cookie-eater can attest, it was just too difficult to breathe AND scarf down delicious goodies simultaneously.

and in the end, we couldn’t decide a winner. wait, yes we did.

combining these two delicious goodies into one hybrid ball of sugar (and cancer-fight agents) was an absolute no-brainer. i’m actually pretty pissed at us for not thinking of it sooner. dear kim jong-il, please take notes.

so if you’re racking your brain as to why i wrote practically nothing in february and still have not really written about the phillipines (injuries aside) or even taiwan (i promise i’ll write soon, taipei!) then now you have your reason….

it’s because i’m currently trying to solve the situation between the two koreas.

and it may or may not include cupcakes.


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with the awful nautical disasters happening in japan, all of my mundane musings seem wildly insignificant (and that much more mundane).

normally a st. patrick’s day would leave me giddingly bouncing around and counting down the hours until consumption starts.

but those words can wait for now.

instead, let’s send a little luck across to japan. i think they could use it.


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often when people travel, they forget to budget for souvenirs.

and that’s okay. because for most of us, it is increasingly difficult to justify any piece of plastic tangible memory when you equate the purchase into the local currency of, “this could buy me ____ beers tonight.”  

and while we’re at it, we might as well just state the obvious… no one really NEEDS  souvenirs. (please don’t tell me that you HAD to have those massive foam pens with the personalized key chain attached to the beer mug holder lined with the a knock-off pair of ray bans.)

as for me,  i refused to buy any sort of keepsake, souvenir, or memorabilia. well, except for a pair of grizzly bear flip-flops (because really, nothing is screams “third world beachside” more than rocky mountain wildlife),  yes, i even passed on the massive foam pen with the personalized key chain attached to the mug holder lined with the knock-off pair of ray bans. why? because it equated to about 40 bottles of the local brew.

either way, i figured out a much cheaper way to remember my time in boracay, phillipines…. and the best part? i didn’t even have to open my wallet!

it was a simple ‘aha’ moment when i realized that the most budget-friendly forever-lasting keepings, are simply those which you permanently place on your body…in a non ink & needle sort-of-way.

for example, i wanted to remember the remote ariel’s point and my ambitious claims that i could swim out to a smaller beach, a very misleading kilometer away. instead of a picture or two, i opted to gash myself up on rusted rope or sea urchin as i frontcrawled my way to the small sandfront. if the open-wound and salt water wasn’t painful enough, i volunteered to pour vodka all over the wound when i got back to land. you know, just to make those etched memories that much more vivid. yes, my one-of-a-kind two-inch scars could not be purchased for any amount of pesos.

and at the same time, i never wanted to forget the 10 ft. cliff-diving escapades into the sulu sea. to make those memories really permanent, my only option was to hit the water in a seated position. it was like i was hastily diving into a bed of bean bag chairs….instead of a reef of coral.  the massive blood-clot bruises that line my thighs and bum are surely more budget-friendly then the henna tattoos or braided weaves that are offered across the island.

but as time (and an indestructible immune system) fades the bruises and sea urchin battle wounds, i knew that i needed something more. something i could hold onto forever. something that would definitely scar…regardless of the icing time post-injury.

to make my boracay memories last, i simply had to rent a scooter and travel inland to the more rural rocky-road side of boracay. a steep hill here, a scooter tumble there, and the suctioning of my calve on the exhaust pipe, has left me with a burn the size of a nfl regulation-sized football. with my three-times-a-week visits to the emergency room to change the dressings, i am continued to be reminded of the beautiful yet scooter-unfriendly landscape of the phillipines. 

i’ve taken a couple peeks at the scar that is forming… and i can with certainty that i will always remember my time in the phillipines.

and i didn’t even have to barter over a glass bottled filled with white beach sand.

(sidenote: i wanted to call this post “budgeting for memories” but that title teetered on suggesting to the reader that this would be an informative and well-thought out post. wouldn’t want to mislead the masses here now would i?)

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gimme some mo

remember that scene in the sandlot when scotty smalls first learned how to make s’mores?

that mean redheaded (aptly named ‘ham’) gave him some lame (and vague) step-by-step instructions about a graham cracker, chocolate, lighting a marshmallow on fire, and then just sticking on the other graham cracker. no wonder smalls was all like “if i haven’t had anything yet,how could i have ‘some mo’ of nothing?” 

there was really no need for ham to go all ballistic on him (insert “you’re killing me smalls” tagline). poor kid.

i’ll stop the critique there but seriously ham, lighten up a bit on the newbie scotty, ya hear? so what if the guy doesn’t know the how-to’s when making a s’more. you’re the brilliant hotshot with an open flame in a full-on wooden treehouse. you lack any real concept of danger. and you’re a pretty shitty catcher. (i’ll forgive you though, only because you drop bombs like calling kids a “pee-drinking crap-face.” class-ic. )

maybe ham tossed out some general guidelines when making s’mores but he forgot some crucial details.

like if you don’t have white marshmallows, you can use mango swirls of soft delight (the package’s words, not mine).

and if you don’t have graham crackers, you can use coconut sesame seed wafer crisps (that’s a rough korean-to-english translation).

and who really needs an old twig to hold the marshmallow when you can use chopsticks?

and while we’re at it, the whole fire thing is really subjective. you can really just use old candles from leftover science projects found around the school.

however, ham and i do share ideals on the final step in s’more making…… “and then smalls, you scarf.”

(self-confession: for an eight year old, i had a wildly mature crush on benny rodriguez.)

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