Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fine, I admit it

Having a rice cooker has sort of changed my life. I bought it off of a friend who was moving. Initially I had my doubts, especially buying one using "fuzzy logic" because as I'm sure was the case in most Asian households growing up, you had some ancient thing with a 2 pole switch that somehow made rice, puddings, steamed vegetables, and whatever else. You could trick those things. Fuzzy logic (whether or not this term is correctly applied) rice cookers are a whole different animal. You have to tell it what you're making (some of them even have cake modes...which my friend and I tried and hey, it looked enough like cake! Imagine if we made it mixing with a whisk and not a fork and also when sober!) and then it'll magically cook it juuuuust right.

And I've been living without a rice cooker for years, being the bad Asian that I am. (Along with not playing the piano or violin.) I just make rice in a pot. What is so hard???

But hey, you help a friend out by buying his junk and you get junk you might use in return. Yay! Also I joked that with the fuzzy logic brain 'n all, it might be intelligent enough to become my new best friend.

And it has.

I haven't done anything crazy in it yet but make white rice and brown rice. Okay, I attempted to make steel cut oats twice, which sort of yielded goopy nightmares, but the oats that remained in the pot were delicious. (I should add that I've never made steel cut oats before and so they sort of astound me and I'm sure it'll just take some experimentation with the water ratio. Also the oats all remained in the pot...the goopy mess was the...oat water that had congealed?) The cake was at someone else's place so I can't count that. But combined with my normal stores of pickled vegetables I never get around to eating (kimchee, cucumbers in soy sauce, etc) I am in snacking heaven. It feels healthier too than some of my past snacking habits. (Until you factor in just how much rice I can inhale with the right sesame and seaweed seasoning and then I remember why I don't lose weight.)

And so, as with I later admitted with getting a real bed, I concede that a rice cooker is a good investment. Tending periodically to a pot of rice doesn't take much work, but setting a timer for rice to be done when you're back from errands is pretty clutch. And since my jaw has been hurting the past few weeks it's been nice to have large amounts of rice porridge (mixed with sweet potatoes! mm) as a staple starch around. You win, Asian-and-now-common-American-apartment-dweller wisdom.

Project 365: day 2

Walk of shame after a lost tennis match.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Project 365: day 1

Project 365: day 1 by muroo Project 365: day 1, a photo by muroo on Flickr.

Spring is here sort of! By a work parking garage.

Hmm, there was supposed to be a message about retrying this project now that my phone is smarter. But it didn't work. I'll find a way!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

running in circles

Hello world again!

I wonder who still has this blog on their feeds! So I am back, reflecting on my life, with no guarantees that I will post again. :-) I guess I converted to tumblr, but since apparently it's a bandwidth whore (hence not playing nice with use at work) maybe I'll spew my thoughts here again.

I have a lot of saved drafts, and a lot of more organized things to say...but perhaps expanding on that indication, this is a post about how I am woefully unfocused.

As I type right now, I am amid another flurry of work left to the last minute. The super last minute. I've been aware of this workload for a while, and I've had the past 3 weeks to work on it, but I just haven't. I can't really put my finger on why other than just being a pathological procrastinator. But I do know I need to improve on this. And I've been better this quarter at work than usual...but not quite the best. Why haven't I been able to improve myself at work as much as I'd like? I think it's because I'm also trying to be better at every thing all at once.

I fall into this trap so much that it's not even a trap, but a dysfunctional way of life. I suppose growing up being placed in specialized programs and then going to a competitive high school and an even more so college has led me to increasingly believe that I should be good at everything. I bitterly scoffed at people who delved into their studies and didn't do extracurriculars and got the same or better grades than I with less stress (for shame!) thinking I was the capable one. Some of my friends do still envy my logistical ambitions -- if I want to fit something into my schedule, it will fit. I may sacrifice a little bit of everything else, but I can and will go to work, see an apartment, get my teeth cleaned, help out at the tae kwon do school, go to my soccer game, and then meet you for your birthday party.

I've been skipping things as of late (the past year) with mixed results. I've mostly been stinging on the exercise and the social engagements, which might not be the best way to go. Either way, this has led to no improvement in my life regarding stress level, work production consistency, and clearly not my health and fitness since I've been exercising less. And now I feel guilty for not leading the jam-packed life I used to with zero results.

What I've forgotten is one of the fundamentals of learning which I now see applies to life skills. Master one skill, build a foundation, and move on.

Instead of trying to (currently):

  • cook more and eat better
  • exercise regularly (and meet my 10k race goal)
  • work better at work
  • declutter my apartment and life
  • read books
  • play more video games (this is a good thing, promise =P)
  • take trips
  • work towards my second degree black belt
  • enjoy life and see friends in the area more than once a year
  • write more music or at least finish some songs
  • and the list goes on...(including some knitting projects for my niece...she'll be too big soon!)

I need to focus at fewer at a time. Often at 2am, I'll be awake, thinking I should do something. But what? I need to work, but I'd also really like to get started on cleaning out my dresser, and hey it's never too late to do a strength workout, oh but there's that book I wanted to read...
I just need to simplify what I want to do.

This will be hard, but I think it's for the best. Maybe I shouldn't be training for the 10k and working on my second degree black belt at the same time as compatible, as those goals appear to be, since at the moment, I only have so much time to exercise and it's hard to choose. Also I feel like reading books and playing video games take up the same-ish time slots in leisure home time. Soccer and tennis together was probably also a bad choice. Cooking more doesn't work when I don't get home until 10pm most nights exhausted. (Though I have been working on recipes on the weekends.) And most of all, perhaps work should take a bigger priority over all of these things (at least for a little while). I know there must be a way somehow to do it all at once, and do it well (I've had a taste of it!), but clearly this isn't working for me. I feel like I've spent the past year and a half trying everything and improving on nothing. I guess I don't have the same ability as I (at least think I) used to to send my life in a billion different directions.

Or maybe I do. But at this point trying to level up all of my skill sets at once makes for a long time until a stat boost. :-) And ya need little bits of encouragement along the way.

Now to figure out what to do first...

*edit - even just ten minutes after writing this, I've already had too many ideas to do everything at once. Don't know how to hold myself to taking things one at a time!