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WHO: 99 THINGS THAT BRING ME JOY

WHAT: A COMBINATION OF FLAVORS YOU LOVE


I have not always been a fan of food, or a foodie. I do not even consider myself to be a foodie today. I do enjoy eating good food, more so now than I did as a child, & I do post pictures of certain foods on my Instagram account. However, I do not consider myself to be a foodie or any sort of connoisseur.

When I was a child, I was probably the most pickiest eater you would have ever met. Everything I ate had to be plain & boring; a bowl of white rice, all other food on my plate had to be separate & could not touch the rice. I would eat a bologna & cheese sandwich on plain white bread with no mayo or spread of any kind. Yeah, I was that kid who would eat pasta noodles straight from the strainer, no butter, no sauce.

As I got older, I had been so inexperienced in trying new foods, plus add on that I was a little chickenshit scaredy-cat, which meant that I was still a picky eater. Well, I guess I was more of a stubborn eater, only eating the foods I was familiar with. It was a good thing my mom introduced me to eating different kinds of Chinese food dishes, so I wasn’t completely living on an island of bland & boring foods.

My parents had always tried to introduce me to new cuisines & new food experiences, but I was just too stubborn to get out of my comfort zone. I didn’t travel far from the lemon-butter-garlic-herb-blah-blah-blah flavor categories, but at least by then I was now eating pasta with actual sauces. It wasn’t until I met Jian, & that was when my culinary experience really cracked wide open like an earthquake fault line.

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Image courtesy of: Google Images & Disney Pixar

When Jian & I first met, I was trying so hard to impress him, so I made myself become more culinarily explorative. Jian loved (& still loves) to eat all kinds of foods, & I was desperately trying to win his heart & hand. Therefore, I forced myself to expand my boring food pallet, & it literally changed my life & unfortunately my waistline (no exaggeration). Whenever Jian wanted to try a new restaurant or eat a different type of cuisine, I would always go along with him, & it really opened my eyes to new tastes & flavors that I deprived myself of during those years in my early twenties when I should’ve been more explorative & imaginative in the food category.

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Image courtesy of: Google Images & Disney Pixar

Since having Jian in my life, I’ve gone from eating chicken nuggets & plain french fries to eating foods I can’t even pronounce with Google Translate. I used to consider myself an American-Chinese girl who grew up eating classic American comfort foods (eg. meatloaf, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, etc.) & the limited Chinese dishes my mom knew how to cook at home (eg. scrambled egg fried rice, rice porridge, steamed ground pork with salt cured duck eggs, etc.). However, Jian changed me & my taste buds, & now I can say that I am a Chinese-American woman who loves Southern Chinese food from Jian’s hometown, & I have stepped out of my Italian-American-Bucca-di-Beppo comfort zone to try foods from so many different regions.

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Image courtesy of: Julia Kuo, Google Images & Disney Pixar

This 99 Things That Bring Me Joy journal has asked me to list a combination of flavors I love. It’s hard to pin down which flavors I love the most, but I’ll try to list a couple of flavors that pop into mind first:

  • Ice Cream on a sugar cone: There’s just no other ice cream cone for me! The plain cone tastes like cardboard, & the waffle cone is just too sweet & turns soggy/soft way too fast.
  • Black Tea with lemon: Sorry, Brits & Hong Kongers (a.k.a. Hongkies). I’m not a tea with milk/cream type of person. I like my black or red tea with lemon. If it’s in iced form, I will sometimes add sugar, but rarely.
  • Yogurt with honey: My favorite types of yogurt are Greek & French. A little dollop of honey sweetens up the plain yogurt better than fruit preserves.
  • Seafood with those oh-so-famous lemon-butter-garlic-herb flavors: As much as I am seriously allergic to shellfish, I still love to eat it (all of it except crab). All I gotta do is pop an allergy pill beforehand & no more seized up throat. I could never stay away from my beloved lobster!
  • Chicken with the Asian garlic-ginger-oil dipping sauce, or the South African peri-peri spicy sauce: Both sauces take your mouth on a permanent vacation to flavor town!

I still won’t eat french fries with ketchup, or a hamburger with whatever restaurant’s special made sauce, but I’m more adventurous in trying new foods now. Some of my current favorite dishes come all the way from France, & one of my favorite Bay Area restaurants serves parts of an animal you wouldn’t even want to think about let alone see on your plate.

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So as I end this blog post, I am reminded of these past couple of days, when I was glued to my bed in the throes of mild food poisoning. It was my own stupidity that led me to get sick from eating improperly cooked food…food that was supposed to be of the heat-in-the-microwave-&-serve variety no less! I have finally regained my appetite after two & a half days of dry heaving & tossing my salad into the porcelain mixing bowl called a toilet. It is now time for me to officially end this post, & satisfy my newly regained ravenous appetite. Until the next meal blog post, cheers!


Oh, & P.S…. I wanted to really end this post with a beautifully delicious illustration drawn by Polish artist Elżbieta Moyski on Tumblr. Please check out her Tumblr page, & show her some love!

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Today’s song of the day:

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WHO: 99 Things That Bring Me Joy

WHAT: (15) A possession that has sentimental value, (16) A list of your favorite words, (17) Your favorite color combinations


Instead of being redundant & re-writing separate posts about topics I’ve already written about in the past, I have decided to combine these next three lists from my 99 Things That Bring Me Joy journal into one long post for efficiency purposes. I have written about these topics in the past, & do not wish to bore you with rehashing the same old boring shit all over again. So, let’s get started.


A possession that has sentimental value

I have talked in the past about how the handkerchief given to me by my late father is one of my most sentimental items. It means even more to me now that my father is long gone from my life & this planet. Rather than repeating myself, instead you can go back into my archives & read my posts about handkerchiefs herehere, & here.


A list of your favorite words

As you may (or may not) already know, I have been writing posts about my favorite words in my “favorite words version xx” series for quite some time now. You can check out my previous favorite words here: Soft, Touch, Milk, Fluff, Sticky, Crossfire, Darling, Glaze, & Wet.


Your favorite color combinations


Well, to keep in line with my short-but-sweet post (efficiency!), I’m just going to keep this outro short. Until next time, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

Celebrate good times... Come on, let's celebrate!.png

Hey guys, guess what? I’m traveling to Los Angeles yet again this upcoming weekend. It’s my aunt’s 72nd birthday, & her three daughters are throwing her an epic Bingo-themed birthday party. I wasn’t originally planning on going to my aunt’s birthday party; Jian & I are trying to save as much money as we can as our medical bills are piling up rather quickly. However, Jian convinced me that we could turn this weekend into a fun road trip down the California coast.

Jian has maxed out the amount of vacation hours he could accumulate at his office, so he’s taking a couple of days off to make it a long weekend. We’re planning on stopping off in Santa Barbara for one night before ultimately meeting up with friends & family in Los Angeles.

This makes a perfect segue into the next topic in my 99 Things That Bring Me Joy journal, which is about my best birthday celebrations. There are a couple of birthday celebrations that come to mind, but I wouldn’t exactly call them “celebrations”. They were more like birthday traditions.

One of my most memorable & favorite birthday traditions was from when I was a young child in primary school. I invited a lot of the girls from my class, & every year for my birthday I would always have a piñata & the same style cake. We’d play silly schoolyard games in the backyard before my older cousin would help us with the piñata. Then we’d all cram into our family’s kitchen to blow out the candles on my favorite Hello Kitty shaped cake.

I will always remember my childhood birthdays filled with piñatas & Hello Kitty birthday cakes. The piñatas were always some fun animal shape & filled with lots of fun candy that I had no interest in eating, so I’d always let my classmates & friends grab all the candy they wanted. (If it wasn’t chocolate or caramel chews, I wouldn’t eat it.) My birthday cake was always the shape of Hello Kitty‘s face, & the flavors would always be either chocolate or strawberry shortcake. Those two flavors are still my favorite to this very day.

The most memorable birthday of that time in my life was when I had invited two girls from my school who happened to be rivals. Both girls hated each other & always tried to one-up each other. At my birthday, they were both fighting over who got to swing from a low-hanging branch on the little peach tree in my backyard. Both girls were fighting for space on that small tree, but the branch ended up snapping, & the entire tree tipped over & fell. They both ended up flat on their asses with all of the other girls in our group looking on in sheer disbelief & a little panicked as to what the grown ups would say. Both of the girls were quick to blame each other for the murdering of the tree, crying the most phony tears for sympathy.

My dad, when he later found out what had happened to that peach tree, was pissed off. Apparently, that tree was still young & growing its roots, & it was one of my dad’s favorite trees in our backyard. He was so upset that these two girls broke the tree that he later forbid me from ever inviting those girls to another birthday party. My mom was equally as mad as my dad was, & she very swiftly declared that no one shall be climbing, swinging, or playing on any trees from that point on. She then quickly passed out all of the party favors, & sent all of the girls home. That was the last time I had a birthday party at home for the next couple of years.

As I grew older, my tastes changed (not my taste in Hello Kitty!). I would still celebrate my birthday with my friends, but one of my most favorite birthday traditions was to go out for a super fancy meal with my family. We would drive to San Francisco to eat at my dad’s favorite seafood restaurant, & my parents would allow me order a full lobster dinner. This became such a memorable family tradition that it became an inside joke amongst my family that I loved to eat lobster. Now, every time when I go out to eat with my family, they will always jokingly point out to me the lobster dish on the menu.

Now, in terms of actual birthday celebrations, nothing so far has topped my birthday vacation to London, England. Oh man, I cannot stress enough how badly I’ve been wanting to visit the UK. Ever since I was a small child, reading the Paddington Bear books, & watching the Mary Poppins movie a thousand times, I’ve had a dream of visiting the city of London.

Then, back in 2016, everything aligned so perfectly, & I had the immense pleasure & rare opportunity to visit the city I’ve always longed to visit, but had always felt was out of my reach. I will never forget that incredible experience, from the people, to the sights, to the food, to the experiences Jian & I shared together. I even saved the handwritten birthday card the hotel staff wrote to me & placed in our hotel room along with a little complimentary chocolate confection. I truly had the time of my life & cannot wait for the next opportunity to visit my new favorite city!

Over these past few years, I haven’t been much of a celebrator of birthdays. I’m not very comfortable with all of the attention being focused on me, & as I am maturing in age, I have become increasingly aware of the modest yet obvious age gap between myself & Jian, as well as myself & a majority of my friends. I don’t like to focus on my age, but as the years go on, I tend to focus on it more & more, which makes me feel self-conscious about it. So, I end up not celebrating my birthday in order to avoid thinking about my age. Also, I feel like a party to celebrate my life is too indulgent & unnecessary. I celebrate my life everyday. I don’t need one day out of the year to feel special. I feel special right now, in fact. Until the next occasion, cheers everyone!

Today’s song of the day:

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