Friday, December 30, 2016

Think Positive, Leave Facebook

Everyone on Facebook is telling me 2016 is the worst year ever, and 2017 can't come soon enough because they think we've hit rock bottom. In all honesty, and selfishly, I had a great time in 2016.

I was able to attend seven weddings this year. While my wallet took a temporary hit, I loved getting blackout drunk with an open bar & dancing celebrating the love of all of these couples with my closest friends & family, who I rarely get to see these days.

Four of these weddings took place in California. I was a bit annoyed at first  flights, lodging, and rental cars aren't cheap. After all four trips, I was actually sad I wasn't going back this year. The coast, desert, giant sequoias & redwoods, beaches, fog, wine country, and food. It was all amazing.

In the field of recreational accomplishment, things really went my way. After a lifetime of utter failure in intramural & rec league sports finals, my Philly soccer team won the league thrice this year. And after repeated humiliation in bar quizzo, I finally won for the first time with some work friends. Can't complain about that.

A lot of other firsts happened this year too. I ate at my first Michelin-starred restaurant, gave my first wedding speech, and purchased my first pair of Jordans (Air Jordan 1). After a year of searching, I finally got a pair of adidas NMDs  persistence pays off. I attended my very first sporting event in a suite, where I watched the Phillies get walloped by the Blue Jays. This also marks the first time I've ever used "wallop" in any form in writing.

Continuing with all the firsts, but on the family side, El Grande Burrito & his wife had a kid, so that's my parents' first grandchild & my first nephew. I helped The Little Taquito get her first job at the same company where I work, so that means I'll get a referral bonus. I think. Anyway, all the Mirasol children are now employed, but we're still on the family phone plan. Not ditching that ever.

I was highly entertained this year. Movies were pretty awesome. You've probably seen or will see Rogue One & La La Land, but if you get a chance I highly recommend The Handmaiden. Don't bring young kids or parents though.

TV blew me away. Stranger Things, obviously. Thanks to HBO, my pre-Monday, Sunday night dread turned into "I fucking wish it was Sunday night already" for twenty weeks. Game of Thrones easily had its best season. Westworld kept me engrossed each week.

I went to my very first tribute band show this year. The opening act was a Nada Surf tribute band, which still confounds me. The main act was a Weezer tribute band that played all of Pinkerton. I hadn't heard any Pinkerton songs in so long, and it made me really appreciate how good it was.

When I think about all of these really fun & awesome things that I experienced this year, 2016 actually was a pretty good year. It's making me realize that all of this Facebook negativity is bringing me down. I need to get away from all the political rants, fake news, and general negativity  at least for a little bit, which is why I'm taking an indefinite hiatus as of January 1.

I'll definitely be back at some point, but I'm going to start the year without Facebook. I'll still be on a couple of the other social media platforms because no one is bombarding me with their thoughts on safe spaces or email hacks. Plus, pictures & videos are fun.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

English is a Piece of Cake

"You can't have your cake & eat it too."

Such a baffling phrase. Why would anyone get a cake & not eat it?

That was the big topic of conversation last weekend between Sanrio & I. After 6+ years together, the intellectual fire still burns.

But, seriously. Why, in fact, would anyone want to get a cake & not eat it? That's absurd. Cake is delicious. Cake is the best. If you disagree. let Jim Gaffigan tell you all the reasons why cake is the best. There really isn't any other explanation needed.

Cake isn't a throw pillow. I don't see cake & think, "Oh hell yeah. That'd look good on my kitchen counter."

When I see cake, my first thought is "attack!" Then, a few other things go through my mind:
  1. I hope it's the good kind of frosting. (The good kind of frosting has a texture that's thicker & more "solid." It some instances it looks like royal frosting, but it's actually softer. It's also loaded with sugar. Think about frosting from Magnolia Bakery or Sweet Revenge. The bad kind of frosting is the type they give you on grocery store cakes – the kind that is really soft & not that sweet.)
  2. I hope the cake is fresh. (Nothing worse than stale cake.)
  3. Should I share this cake with someone? No... 
  4. Yes. Yes, I should share this with someone. I need to fit into my pants.

And now back to the original phrase. After some in-depth internet sleuthing, I found out how the phrase originated & its literal meaning. It seems my immigrant understanding of the English isn't up to par, so I'll just go back to my country & eat cake there.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sartorial Spite: Sandals with Jeans - Revisited

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." I'm pretty sure Charles Dickens was a precog who foresaw the fashion crime of pairing jeans with sandals.

It's once again that time of the year where we have a few weeks of perfect weather that is both a blessing (best of times) & a curse (worst of times).

Temperatures are just cool enough where you can start comfortably wearing jeans without feeling like leather-pants-wearing Ross. However, temperatures apparently are not cool enough to shed the open-toed footwear.

I know I've written about this before, but... Ugh.

Guys -- when it comes to jeans with sandals, just say "no."

Friday, October 31, 2014

Milk First, Cereal Second

It's been nearly a year and a half since I've written, but I've decided to temporarily interrupt my sabbatical due to this incendiary Instagram post.

I've debated milk-first vs. cereal-first on multiple occasions. I realize I'm in the minority. However, that post makes me want to defend myself & all other milk-first proponents.

Here is my case for pouring milk prior to the cereal. You'll find it's as logical as saying "Belated Happy Birthday."

Reason 1
I hate milk. Actually, most Asians don't like milk. It's a fact. Google it. My mother used to put sugar in my milk so I'd drink it. That was until she discovered chocolate-flavored sugar, aka Nestle Quik.

Cereal was merely a delivery system for the milk, another way to get me to drink the stuff. When I first started eating cereal it wasn't because I was craving Cinnamon Toast Crunch, it was because I had to have my daily dose of dairy.

Because I had to drink a certain amount of milk each day it was measured in my bowl before the cereal was poured. So, milk-first was optimal to allow me to see how much of it I had to consume. And it allowed me to argue with my mother. I wanted less, but my mother always wanted me to drink more.

Reason 2
If I was going to eat cereal with milk, I at least wanted it to be as enjoyable as possible. That included crunch factor. Nobody likes soggy cereal. Pouring cereal last allows you to fill your bowl with just enough cereal to eat while it's still crunchy. Once you've finished what's in your bowl, simply pour more fresh cereal for a crunchy breakfast. Plus, depending on what cereal you eat & your pour, some of the cereal stays on top of the floaters, thus further preserving crunchiness. If you go cereal-first, all the cereal gets drenched & starts getting soggy immediately.

Now you know why it's milk first & cereal second. And knowing is half the battle.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sartorial Spite: Sandals with Jeans

Mandals with jeans? Grounds for impeachment.
Those who know me know that I'm pretty laid back. I'm fairly neutral on most subjects, or at least give that impression. For the few things for which I have a strong like or dislike -- I really like it or dislike it. Mostly, the things that I do get excited for are food-related. I can give you a million reasons why I like or dislike a certain dish, cuisine, or restaurant, and I will argue it to the death & think you're crazy if you don't agree with me.

One other such subject that I feel strongly about is fashion. I'm not claiming to be some sort of trendsetter, in fact far from it. I believe in at least adhering to some simple, straightforward rules. These include things such as not wearing white socks with black dress shoes (you're not MJ) or not wearing a brown belt with black shoes & vice versa (your mom didn't teach you how to match?).

Because the weather is warming up I'm starting to see guys do something that drives me crazy, I'm going to complain about it by starting another sporadic series entitled "Sartorial Spite," where I'll write about fashion choices that immensely annoy me. I'm not going to lie -- this will probably go the way of my other hit sporadic series, "Things I Learned from Saved by the Bell." (Feel free to read Part 1 & Part 2.)

For the record, I know I'll probably anger many people with this series (you know, if I write more than one post), but I don't care. The only thing I despise more than what I write about in this series are beach pics where people put their feet in the picture. Disgusting. But I'll save that for another post.

Anyway, as you intelligently deduced from the title of this post, my disdain for today is directed toward guys who wear sandals with jeans. It doesn't look good. Sandals are casual, warm-weather footwear. They're meant to be paired with shorts, not jeans.

I see many guys at night do this. They put on their finest "going out" button-down, their finest "going out" jeans, and then they put on some of their finest flip-flops.

I want to know if it's laziness -- i.e., I just don't feel like putting on socks or lacing up shoes tonight -- or if they looked in the mirror & legitimately thought, "You know what would finish off this fly outfit? Havaianas."

There are few exceptions where jeans-with-sandals is an acceptable outfit. For example, you may simply need to run to your corner bodega to satisfy your Toblerone craving & don't want to put on your shoes. In this case, go for your sandals. Just please don't wear mandals. You know what I'm talking about. Those are unacceptable in all situations.

Friday, December 21, 2012

An Early Christmas Present

Back in September my brother & I received the following email from my little sister, a sophomore in college:

SUBJECT: Very early Christmas present

I'm only asking this early because it's kind of a necessity...

Would you guys want to get me a fake ID for Christmas? A lot of people I know order them online but they can be kind of expensive, like $100-$150. I can't find any Asian that can give me their ID.

As an older brother this immediately struck me as a teaching opportunity. My response:

No. I am not giving you a fake ID for Christmas. It is not a "necessity." I, as well as millions of others, have had immense amounts of underage fun at school without a fake ID.

Why do you need a fake ID? For bars, to buy alcohol? Why do you need to go to bars as a sophomore? You can go to tons of bars the rest of your life. Enjoy house parties. You should be able to get alcohol from anyone. Other people have fakes & can buy you stuff.

If you want one, find it on your own -- like I did. And the reason you cannot find any Asian to give you their ID is because you're too white-washed. Go find some Asian friends to mix up your crowd a bit.

Obtaining a fake ID is part of your growth as a person. Figure it out.

As you can see, as an older brother this also immediately struck me as an opportunity to be a condescending jerk. (Hence, why I'm now blogging about this.)

It's pretty funny & refreshing to have a younger sister who's experiencing college exactly 10 years after I did. Things just never change.

My first fake ID was secured from a gentleman in the Theta Chi fraternity. He made Ohio licenses. I was from Cleveland. I got my ID during the second semester of my freshman year. Three other friends & I all got Ohio IDs because we were going on a road trip to New Orleans for spring break. (Oh, spring break. Haven't had one of those in over 7 years.) Surprisingly, the ID in 2002 also cost $100. It's good to know that inflation hasn't affected the fake ID market.

The Ohio ID was of immense value to my friends & I back home in Rochester, MI. I used it to procure a lot of kegs from Harry's, a shady liquor store in Pontiac. They never questioned why an Ohioan was buying alcohol in Pontiac all summer long. They probably thought I was a student at Oakland University.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. That ID was taken away from me at Scorekeepers during my sophomore year. I was pretty angry at how I lost it. Everyone knows Skeeps is the underage bar of choice in Ann Arbor. Just show up around 9pm before the cops are at the door with basically a library card, and they'd let you in. I went with Roommate #2, who had the exact same fake, but with his own picture and different address & age info. He was in line directly in front of me, and he was allowed in. I then showed my ID, and they told me it was a fake & confiscated it. Such a deflating moment. Bastards!

My second fake ID was actually a real Michigan driver's license I borrowed from a former roommate, also a gentleman of the Theta Chi fraternity. He is Colombian, and since people thought I looked Mexican, I figured it would work. At the time, I thought we looked very similar. He is Colombian, I am Filipino. He had regular-length hair, I buzzed my hair. His eyes were much rounder than mine. We actually looked nothing alike. In retrospect, it's amazing to think about the bullshit you talk yourself into.

I used this during my summer internship with the HGOC in Los Angeles in 2004. Surprisingly, this ID worked like magic at the local convenience store. No questions asked. We had a steady supply of beer at the Good Nite Inn in Calabasas all summer long. (Yes. We stayed at a motel all summer because it was right across the street from work and just a few blocks from our gym. Plus, we got our rooms cleaned every day.)

I never tried that Michigan license at a bar because HGOC didn't have a fake. No point in risking confiscation for a solo trip to the bar. I returned that ID to my friend when I arrived back in Ann Arbor that August. I was turning 21 during Welcome Week and no longer had a need for my Colombian identity.

From that point on, it was the real Dirty Burrito buying alcohol. It was nice & easy, but it just wasn't the same.