Monday, October 29, 2012

Thoughts to Remember

photo by JT

"Stop identifying yourself as a cliche and start treating yourself as an individual. Constantly checking your life against a prewritten narrative or story of how things “should” be is a bought-into way of life. It’s sort of like renting your identity. It isn’t you."
- Holden Desalles in 19 things to Stop Doing in Your 20s

 "Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."
- Steve Jobs in 2005 Stanford Commencement address

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Love/Hate Relationship with NY Times


I don't agree with most of the articles that NY Times publishes, and yet I always come back to their website to read the Modern Love column. Every week there is a lovely essay about contemporary relationships that make me empathize with tears/laugher. "First the Proposal, Then Remodeling" was probably the best one I've ever read. I thought it was going to be a sad ending (in the words of Taylor Swift "thinking all love ever does is break, and burn, and end"), but the last paragraph brought it from a 3 star article to a solid 5.

I inevitably end up following a link to an article that gets me frustrated, and then question what the heck I'm doing on this liberal propaganda website to begin with. (Hi, JZ!) And the cycle begins again.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Things I Don't Need

Currently tempted by this tiny ring

Do you have a personal policy about spending money on things you don't need? I make a fair amount of money, more than double what I really need. And yet I can't seem to be able to put any money away. It all just gets spent, and at the end of the month I'm not even sure what I spent it on.

Then it dawned on me. When I was paying off my student loans, the first thing I did when I received a paycheck was make a payment on the loan. This way, I didn't have to be disciplined about not spending too much. I simply didn't give myself the option. 

I've decided that I'm going to pay myself (my savings account) first when I get a paycheck. Now I don't feel bad about spending the money that I do spend on myself, and I'm saving! Win-win. How do you save?

(Isn't the ring lovely, though?)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On Being Humbled


I made s-e-v-e-n cakes the Bee's Class Reunion party. Pulling this off in my tiny kitchen required more planning than I'm used to, but I think it turned out great! I baked and froze the layers, the bundt cakes, and the cheesecakes in advance. None of them suffered as a result of being frozen for a couple of weeks. All that was left to do the day before the party was make the tiramisu cake (too fragile to freeze), make frosting/graze for each cake and assemble. It was so quick that I had time to make nearly 140 servings of deviled eggs.

Sue and Barry's high school mascot

The whole ordeal left me so cocky of my cake-making abilities, that I thought I could do no wrong making a cake for one of my coworker's birthdays 2 days after the party. 

That night was a series of unfortunate events:
  • I ran out of cake flour and tried to make my own;
  • instead of buttering the pan and parchment paper I sprayed it with canola oil spray;
  • pulled the cakes out and flipped them over too early because I was tired and wanted to sleep;
  • I ran out of powdered sugar for the frosting, so I thought I would just swing by the store on my way to work and add some there.

Just when I thought I had the 3-layer-cake-making thing in the bag, I was put in my place. It was a terrible, too sweet, leaning to one side, pathetic attempt at a cake. I better get my act together because oh-no-big-deal-omg-what-did-I-sign-up-for-I'M-MAKING-A-WEDDING-CAKE next month!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Never Let Me Go

IMG_4115 IMG_4116

I had to say goodbye to my mama on Sunday. She is staying with my brother in Sunnyvale until Thursday, and then she goes back home to Russia. Goodbyes are so hard for me, but this one was made a tad bit easier because 1) I had an awesomely fun last weekend with my brother, his girl, and mama; 2) it's the last goodbye before she can move here permanently.

Have a safe, safe trip, mama! I love you.