Thursday, July 30, 2009

OMG, Let's Eat

Putting the love back into homey cooking

It's been awhile since the first time I posted pictures through my expedition of making Korean food, but let me warn you this, I have not stopped, not even close. On the contrary, I think I've regained some of the mystery, fun, and gratification in learning to cook from the beginning of this summer. Cheers to hoping that I won't get too lazy when I'm off in college to cook. A cooking addiction, now that can be anything, but bad right?

The Korean version of Sushi! It's Kimbap, but I don't mind referring to it as sushi...they're just like cousins :) This is amazingly fun to make, but a pain to cut into pieces.

These were rolled with kimchi, and these I didn't cut up since you can just eat it like a metal pole. Oh I lost my bamboo rollers so I used my hands instead, they're chubby looking, but not so bad huh? >_<

I also made bebimbap awhile ago, bebim means 'mix' I think and bap = rice. The beef, vegetables, and mushroom took a fair amount of time to cook, but worth the full experience of poking your chopsticks into 8 different ingredients.

(A) Please blindsight your eyes to our frog-colored, plant patterned tablecloth. And (b) Grab a little of everything to put on top of your rice. There's also suppose to be an egg on top, but I made too many egg sidedishes that week so I ran out, ops.

Before eating, bebimbap requires messing up the food you nicely stacked together moments ago. Sadly, beauty can never be preserved, oh well, at least I get to fill my stomach.

This past week I acquired some beef steaks and finally got to make the much-desired bulgogi, korean bbq! So here's what happened to the beef...

This is the mocha-swirl like marinade, it contains half an asian pear, only after it was beaten to a green/brown pulp.

This is Actually how it's suppose to look after the beef sits in the fridge overnight, transforming it from a lake-algae look to a septic swamp.

I pan fried the final result, but I think it would taste better if grilled, and I also made that kimchi.

I'll be trying another genre of food to make after I'm over my Korean phase. Also I'd be happy to cook for anyone of you guys! It's really fun for me, but the only downside is all that mess behind the camera.
Credits to Maangchi, for her amazing website which includes the recipes for all this.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Time and time again, my thoughts run amuck, does normalcy still exist between Mom and me?

Is it because family is the most essential and fundamental relationship any human has that it turns out to be the hardest? We devotedly seek it out from the casualness of calling our best friends 'bros' and 'sis', and adopting pets as important members of one to churches that have tightly-knit spiritual families. Even orphans learn to develop a sense of family from their surroundings. The most certain thing is that we want to return to that place no matter what our situation, our circumstances. Our home, our safe shelter.
But is the closeness between us also what creates the friction as well? I got scolded today after my mom told me to get out of the car to pump gas for her. For that moment I lost the filter that most people have when speaking to their parents. Instead my mom got the gas while I stood next to her at the gas pump. Back in the car she started going on about “This is what happens when kids get raised with American values”... “Should I beg you for a small request? Ridiculous.” ... “At the tip of a tiny favor, you complain the loudest.”

So badly, so badly I wanted to retaliate, but because I lost my cool earlier I decided to shut my mouth this time. I was fuming and in my head thinking,
But Mom, don't you know by know I hate touching anything dirty? Can't you be more considerate to see that I was about to drink juice when you turned around demanding me to go out of the car? Why don't you see all the “small” things that I do for you without you saying a word?'s not only me, I guess my mom returns the favor in this aspect...and more.
There it was, the rationalization I've been waiting for, the one where, in my smoke filled thoughts, I needed to realize that I was at fault too. I started un-fuming,
Kris, can't you just let trivial demands go and just do it? You should know that mom has to touch the dirty gas pump more than you. Yuck. Don't you see all the “big” things that she does for you without you asking for it? I'm not sure I can totally convince myself of the last one, but my mother does do a lot for me, no matter how much I try to deny reality.
Now really, do I have to empathize with everyone, including my own mother? Especially your mom. She single-handely raised both my sister and I after we moved to the U.S. How tough was it for her? I know I can't and never will be able to imagine how much.

When one competes over miseries and hardships, there will be no end to it. This is how I took a step forward out of my “appreciate me” phase and into the“let's come to a peaceful understanding” phase. It took 19 years for this thought to progress, perhaps it'll take another 19 for me to settle into a “appreciate mom” phase. Hopefully, for both my mom and I, it won't take that long. Consequently, even after being thoroughly reprimanded, the first words that came out of my mouth instead was “Mom, I'm sorry.”
My mom, paused, responded with“What am I suppose to say?”
I was speechless, after gathering enough courage to genuinely apologize was she not going to accept it?Am I suppose to tell her how to feel too!? When did our relationship get so complicated that sincere apologies weren't enough!?!?...Wait...Calm down. I'm currently suppose to be in my peace-making phase, so I wont get upset, yell, and be frustrated, I said I'm sorry and I meant it, so mom please, just consider it, consider forgiving me.

Korean SuperActor KimBum

Monday, July 20, 2009

The light in our step, the wind beneath our feet

After reading Manglish's blog, I felt a surge to try and write something creative about my is it?

The escalator rolls, and I as what feels like it's only passenger, rigidly take a step or two below. Inconveniently now, I wish I could just stop moving, to have a minute to gather myself, but the mechanics around me just wouldn't allow such a decidedly fickle impulse. At least it's justly fulfilling its duty. The final step from grinding irons to the maroon pasted cement has sealed my path, the inexorable turn of metal gears was only a step behind, but it may as well be distances away as it no longer matters, my mind has closed off all thoughts of return. With the aid of the chatter and footsteps closing upon me, my feet have unwittingly returned to its original pace to save the rest of the body from public humiliation. You just can't stop after dropping to the bottom of the well, like falling into the lowest depth of a manhole, the only way up is...well only as real as a stairway to heaven. Each step further into the subway station leaves a film of events that had only occurred a few hours earlier, as if one step at a time, a drop of memory leaked onto the ground. It can be conceived to be the literal and metaphorical action of a step, as strong as the thud that follows, is the resonance of its many accompanying emotions. Every step is invigorated with a scene of memory and its exact copy of the energy at that moment in time, leaving a vivid, vibrant sheen over the surface of the step. The sole of my first step captures the early-morning gathering filled with excitement of seeing familiar friends and the reeling movement of finishing a step provides the perfect motion of imprinting the shoe onto its cold grounded partner. The right foot now steps ahead of the left, leaving another imprint, its reflection shines with heartfelt laughter and joys of the zoo. Again, the left, this time it leaves a mark that captured the bonds of friendship and love between these individuals. Fueled by so many fluttering memories, a glimmering trail begins to form.
...However, the trail's light begins to diminish the further my foot diverges from its step. Unfortunately neither can what is only a shadow of the memory deviate far from the body and soul. The energy that animates it will irreversibly run out overtime, sometimes it may only be ephemeral. They will also begin to be overshone by the light of bigger and stronger feet, “small but tough” shoes, or simply superseding feelings attached to another's particular recollection. Perhaps by smear prints of oval-bellied shoes followed by dainty heel-points, by flat-shaped loafers, notoriously known for their clear cut, and furtive image, or by the stomps of colossal mountain boots, the king of footwear, oh, here comes a sneaker's craggy bottom precisely snuffing out half of an earlier step. By no means of any harm, it has coincidentally imparted a glimmer of the teenage boy's memories. Likewise so do all shoes that pass upon the station's floor, leaving luminous marks of what only the soul can retain. Imaginably, the subway's cold, hard floor has begun to be lit up with dozens of footsteps followed by their individual spark. One trail circles towards one direction, while another intersects it, just like the crossroads of urban cities. The once faceless pavilion, is now a sea of a thousand fading footprints, reminiscent of the many occurrences that goes on all in one day. Crowded and bustling may need to take on a new meaning, one less pair of feet would mean one less gleam in the eyes of those who are watching. My steps suddenly stop, I've reached my temporary station, awaiting the subway train to come into place, where I along with many others, step by step, will always and constantly shine its floors. Our walk will never be alone.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The last time was Spring break...

My hands are shaking, I'm pressing down hard- real hard. The tension's building, the pressure immense. Stop, success was unprobable with the initial try. I take hold of the clear covering and release. My fingers still sticky with saliva. It's unbearably tense, tension gone, a sigh of relief. My mind is numbing, recalling the pain, the initial force of my hands sapped. My resolve...crumbling. But there's no backing down at this crucial moment, it's now or never, fingers trembling, yet angling for the perfect repositioning that would ease reentry. The last of my efforts, face contorted, on the verge of hallucination, -crack-clack-click-, my jaw slacks, all strength lost, pain overwhelming. It's over...OW OW OW. The throbbing multiplies by 10. Tight. Too TIGHT!...Oh well, at least I got these retainers in.

I need to thank Janvier for giving me dirty thoughts...

Due to laziness and more unhindered laziness, I didn't wear my retainers since spring break, but painful retribution has been dealt and my teeth have gone back to their once upright selves, after the past two days of above description. When one is going through a truly painful process, one will stop to think whether the result is worth it. Cowards like me adamantly shake our heads, average pain-tolerant men shoot a confident look with fearful eyes, clever men avoid a majority of the pain, and tough guys yell “bring it on”, they also happen to be the most bruised ones at the end. Aside from the usual ego.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Red Fire, White Stars, and Blue Pool

I finally got to it! Here are some pics of the July 4th, 2009 Celebration, it was so long ago that I don't remember what I can write on it, but it's just one of those days that you enjoyed so much that time just flew by, and what's better than doing that together with your friends? Of course, fireworks, swimming, and food added made us more hyper than usual.
It's a lot of pictures, but I couldn't explain the day without it :)

Driving to our friend's house we saw our friends of the forest with two babies too! you only get to see one =(

Our friend's dad is now a retired-architect, he designed their own house...that's awesome

We were sent to the pool to chill~



What's a July 4th without BBQ?! (neither of them are me btw)lol

An American feast for an American celebration! I ate 2 burgers, 1 hotdog, 6 chicken wings, corn, and beans >_>

For dessert, the jack-o-melon made by our host-friend!! I just grin when I see it!

It's finally time!! OMG, we thought these were bottlerockets so we had to go "somewhere safe" before we lit it.

Turned out to be just regular, good-ol'-safe sparklers! haha, how anticlimactic!

After our show, we got back to the pool, it's all nice and lit-up now =]

We're waving goodbye (actually we just thought it looked cool)

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Discipleship

One face, a perspective of a weekly church-going gay.

Why have I arrived here again, week after week? I'm not too sure myself, but probably first is because of the family that doesn't excuse anyone from not going to church, second is perhaps more cynical and subconscious in that I haven't forgiven myself for being the way I am and I'm not turning away from the prospect that maybe God can still change me. Too many years of indoctrination here may be to blame. Still, I have to give my pastor praise as he is deserving of many credits, truly, if I wasn't so disillusioned by my homosexuality, I would've believed the words he spoke every week. The ones of promise, of salvation, and of eternity... I listened intently as I always have even with my doubts, and I have never poked holes at his messages. He has reasons for who he is, the teachings he spreads, and I have mine for living the way I do, just as valid as his, his as valid as mine. Anyways he goes on and tells us of three biblical meetings each between Jesus and a different men, for which every man had their own excuse that prevented them from following Christ: “wordly comforts”, “family ties”, and “divided loyalty”. The pastor emphasized these are the characteristics we must surrender for us to become true, willing disciples. These were the costs then, the same as now, no excuses, no alibis.

Don't read the next part if you don't want an expansion on the sermon. It's kind of related, but not necessary.
Be willing to give up all wordly treasures:
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose”
-Jim Elliot

Put God ahead of your family:
“He who loves his father and mother more than me is not worthy of me and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” Matthew 10:37

Your first loyalty is to God, above all (boyfriends/girlfriends/everything):
Once we haven given up what it takes to be with God, there is no looking back, or wanting any of those things back.

At the end of prayer, one thought remained- I am not willing. I cannot be bent to give up any of these things for God. Actually...who would?? Surprisingly, a moment later, I found the answer to be me and inevitably all of us. I just convinced myself that I wouldn't give up any of those things for God, but I realized I had the potential of doing so. What I mean is that there is something that we all live for, the number one thing that takes precedence over everything else, our goals? our career? our image? our love? ourselves? It just depends on where your priority lies. I realized I would be willing to give up my possessions, my friends for him, sever my family ties for him, and love him more than anyone else in my life. My future man may not be of godlike status, but finding and keeping him has become what's most important to me, my life's initiative. Perhaps all my pastor was asking us to do was to rank God as #1, place the being, he believes, is worthy of our all in that position. But I know I won't...then what do I do now with this personal insight, knowing that I have the capability to focus my life on a single point? I think I'll have to wait to deal with that until my life ambition has actually appeared. For now, I'm just grateful that I learned I am a “disciple”, it's just not God that I'm worshipping.

~p.s. I really really didn't have an intention of preaching here >_<'' I hope I haven't offended anyone T-T~
~p.s.s. I finally found out how to change fonts/basic stuff in my blog, I'm such an amateur blogger, but is the new, smaller font better? (if you noticed..)Or do you have to squint to read now?~

Friday, July 10, 2009

May I worry

Sometimes I'm not as deep as I want to seem. I may ponder a lot about events in my life, but in the end, I always come to the same conclusion. It's my fault. I'm not trying to be all depressing today, don't get me wrong, but when something isn't going as you hoped, don't you feel like the main contributor to the problem? You're not the one making things right, wishes fulfilled, you've let down your responsibililty. I may be sitting here blasting my happiest/cheer-me-up/dance song, but as soon as the music ends, it's all going to rush back: Why can't I get along with my mom? There's not much to explain actually, just my mom came home with a bad mood. She was trying to hide it and I could tell as soon as the first confrontation of the evening began.

Kris- “Why is my spoon laying like that on the table.” (looking at my mom since she's in the kitchen)
Mom- “I don't know” (not with her smoothest tone)
Kris- “Uhh, I know I don't lay my spoon on the table like that, it gets dirty.”
Mom- “I didn't do it!”
Kris- (looking at the eggs and vegetable on the table next to my spoon) “Mom, I know I didn't do it. You put the egg carton and tomatoes on the table, it probably pushed my spoon over.”
~At this point you may wonder how there is even anything to argue about, it's a freaking utensil. I think it's ridiculous now too, but at the time I didn't think it would escalate to anything, but also it's no coincidence that our explosive arguments always start with the most trivial matter. ~
Mom- She yelled something I can't recall.
Kris- “Well, don't blame me for it.” (Stepping down the stairs to grab another spoon)
End of Conversation.
Hahaha, See? it wasn't bad right? Unbeknownst to me until later, this was the start of something...dramatic?
I came by the kitchen later and the stove was on, mushrooms were in the pan, but it looked like she was focused on looking for something.
Piecing the clues together I asked “Do you need a spatula?”
She didn't look at me. Pretending not to hear me, she animatedly fumbled through the drawers.
“Mom, why aren't you talking?”
Mom- “I don't want to talk to any of you!!!!” It was close to a shriek.
She pushed past me on her way out of the kitchen. This set me off. In retaliation, I pushed back. She yelled “STOP IT!!”. Everything seemed to stop. She headed down the stairs to get the spatula.
Kris- “Just because you're in a bad mood from work doesn't mean you can take it out on me!”
Mom- “I'm angry when I get home.” not even bothering to hide her distaste.


Don't feel too bad, I know she said the last thing out of anger. I don't remember what happened after that, but this has led to what is now— the 3rd day of a mutually dealt silent treatment. Ugh...when will this end? I can't believe something so annoying like this is happening again. Since I've gone off to college and came back, I think both my mom and I tried not to get in any big fights. It's just a part of history that peace never lasts; perhaps though, being a stable family always means having some unsteady times. Disagreements included. I don't want to apologize though, I keep thinking, I don't want to continue being treated this way, and when I graduate and move out, it'll be the end of all this. Recently even, whenever I get mad at my mom, I think about using my homosexuality as a weapon. Like a bomb that will destroy our family, and that's how I will leave home, with everything shattered to pieces. I'm scared I even think about using my sexuality as revenge, but I don't know! I don't I want to go off and live by myself with no family burdens, no matter if they know I'm gay or not? Be free and run away? Or maybe I want to stay nearby, impatiently waiting for them to understand and cherish me for who I am. Ah, what is wrong with me, dreaming again in the middle of the night.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Anger and Angst, but Against what?

Awesome jack-o-melon from this year's celebration~!!

Happy 4th of July! Or belated depending on when I get to post this. Coincidentally, the date will be relative to when I'll prevail getting to use the internet at my house, the one my sister buys and hogs. Somehow she is able to stay on the computer from 10 am to 10 pm with a few intermittent breaks from here to there, as my eyes have witnessed. So if I expect myself to be able to get online, I must a) Sneak in 15 minutes of internet use while she's eating b) Beg her to get off her buttocks and let me use it once in awhile or c) Go to the library nearby. Lately I've been opting for option (c.) since I need it for at least an hour and I also cower from confrontations with her. However, today, she put up a new condition, changing what was tolerable to unbearable. She ordained that the use of her internet required that I must read at least one chapter of the bible. What in the name of-is she doing?! Discriminating against people void of the same religious zealous that she claimed to have? What an outrage! I thought there were laws against this! All the repressed anger of letting her slide with using the internet for 8-12 hours a day, actually, all the anger from me always condoning her commandeering behavior simmered to a boil. Thankfully, these thoughts cooled as quickly as they heated.

Despite the lack of an verbal eruption, I did tell her what I thought. If she wanted to push something on me, even religion, there are better ways of doing it than bribery, even close to blackmail from my perspective. My religious views got pretty slighted after something happened in college, hugely contributed by her, but skip that for now. In other words, in her opinion, I fell from grace, which I felt I was never perched on in the first place. I'll admit that I was affronted and anger was wholly my motivation here to rebel. But what was I actually angry at? My sister being an unreasonable cow, at having to compromise yet another belief, or just the plain fact I couldn't even use the internet freely at my house? It was a mish mash of all these things, but at the center of it was my resentment towards myself, wanting to express, perhaps for a change, that I do not want to lie about who I am anymore. Truthfully, I wouldn't have minded lieing about not using the internet or could have easily pretended that I followed her directive since about a minute after boasting her decree, she had to go out for an errand. She wouldn't have known, but...I, Kris...would. That alone is enough to stop the criminal mind, and instead to rethink a better way out, imaginably an earnest attempt to break off the part of me that was a fraud. I chose the other way out not because of my moral education nor the 10 commandments, but from my own acceptance of who I am. I'm not the little boy that used to tread down the guided path set out for me by my family neither am I blindsighted by religion anymore. And I'm surely not the boy who used to believe gays were perverts and sinners. I am one now. I certainly won't flaunt it, but neither am I going to fake it any longer, not to myself and not to my family. If I read the bible, it wouldn't be me, it wouldn't be the naïve supplicant that has gone through 11 years of Christianty only to come out a mediocre product. So I end up at the crossroads of a) Cheating my new beliefs b) Lieing to my sister c) Just using the internet regardless of it all, but the answer simply became none of the above, with me lying on the ground typing out this anecdote with the internet modem right infront of me, pitch black. Stronger than my selfish desire to use it, is my selfish hope to never mislead anyone about who I am any further.