Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween!
Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!

It's Halloween time again! Man, I love Halloween. How do other countries other than the US celebrate Halloween? Do other countries' children go trick-or-treating? I was reading about it on Wikipedia, and apparently trick-or-treating didn't really take off until the 1950s. But my mom said that my grandpa used to wear masks and stuff when he was young, so some form of Halloween celebration did go on in the 1920s. I guess the Irish and Scottish immigrants brought the Halloween culture to America back in the day. And it's taken off and evolved from there. Or something.

Trick-or-treating was awesome. I once got 9 lbs of candy on Halloween. Seriously. I weighed it. Trick-or-treating for me growing up was truly a marathon event. We're talking hours of frantic door-to-door action. I probably canvassed half our city. The best part was dumping it all out at the end of the night, organizing it all into piles, then trading with your friends/family. Man, the good ol' days...

Haunted houses scared the shit out of me. Even now, I think they'd seriously freak me out. I once cried in the middle of one. I think I was in 4th grade.

Pumpkin carving was also great. IS great. Joleen and I carved them last night. We made silly ones instead of scary ones. Joleen's jack-o-lantern is on the left, mine's on the right.

I went to a Halloween party with Liz this past weekend. One of Liz's co-workers hosted it. It was pretty fun. It involved a scavenger hunt that was WAY too smart for me. I was an evil sorceress. Liz was an angel. She made her own costume. It was very nice, especially the wings.

I decided to look back at my Halloween costumes throughout the years. Then I decided to share them. Enjoy. There's one for every year of my life, except 2003. What did we do for Halloween in 2003?? The only thing I can think of is that it was the year we waited in line for basketball tickets on Halloween weekend. Did we totally forgo Halloween that year??

Hey, my first post on this new blog (EmilyNOTinKorea) was made on Halloween of last year. It's this blog's 1 year anniversary!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

You Can Be A Winner...
At The Game Of LIFE!

Seriously, people. If given the choice between these two versions of the game of LIFE, which would you pick off the shelf? The one where the dorky family of 4 are having a mildly entertaining time, or the one with the 2 cool-looking 'adults' obviously having a crazy-good time? I think the choice is clear. Fyi, the dorky family of 4 box is from 1982...hence the mom's feathered hair and the excess number of collared shirts and sweaters. And a sweater vest.

As you can see from this next picture, we like to make our own societal rules when we play the game of LIFE. Joleen is the green car, I'm the blue car, and Sunny is the yellow car. Notice that Joleen is represented by a lesbian couple and Sunny and I are represented by gay men. It's hot being a gay man. Yeowsa! Also notice that we're all locked in a dead heat. I don't recall who won this particular game--we played many times. It's strangely addicting.

Then we played Payday. Anyone remember that game??

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Into the West
You know you're running out of clever west-themed titles when you're reduced to titling one after an Annie Lennox song from Lord of the Rings.

Day 3

So, we woke up even later today (I think around 7am...but my memory is getting a bit foggy since this all happened so long ago). We left Ogden behind and headed for Salt Lake City. I was really hoping that as we entered the city we'd suddenly see hoards of men wearing black trousers, white button-up shirts, and ties riding bikes. Because, you know, Mormons do that. Their main mode of transportation while proselytizing seems to be the bicycle. Good on 'em, I guess. You know, environmental and all. I doubt that's why they all ride bikes, but hey. Benefit of the doubt. I didn't see any Mormons on bikes, however. My sister later pointed out that there probably aren't many Mormons on missions within the Salt Lake City confines. Valid point.

Well, today was a very shite morning. It was super foggy and raining as we passed through Salt Lake City. If the Great Salt Lake is pretty, we missed out. Because to us, for the most part, it looked like 2 feet of water and great expanses of white fog. But here are a few of the better pictures we managed to snap of the Great Salt Lake:

After we passed by the the Great Salt Lake we passed through the Great Salt Lake Desert. It's a desert, but the sand is white due to the high concentration of salt. It was weird. It looked like snow, but it was sand. However, this confusion was intensified by the fact that it actually was snowing as we drove through the first bit of it. Yes, it was snowing. As we passed the GSL, the rain turned to snow, reducing the visibility even more. Fun. And odd. However, I have come to the conclusion that the white ground was, in fact, white sand and not snow. We stopped at a rest stop in 'the desert' and I was amused by a sign there that read, "Watch for snakes and scorpions." Interesting. I didn't see any. But it was snowing. And cold. We also passed by a Morton Salt Plant. I took a picture of it. Yay for Morton Salt.

Oh, I forgot to mention that we left I-15S and got onto I-80W at Salt Lake City. Anyway, I-80 runs due East-West through this part of Utah to the Nevada border. It's also exactly straight, making distance-judging extremely difficult. We had a game of "How many miles do you think it is to that mountain?" We all lost. They were a lot further away than we thought (although I did figure it out soon after guessing by utilizing the mileage markers..."Well, we're at mile marker 34 and I'd postulate that the Utah-Nevada border is right where those mountains start, so they're probaby about 34 miles away, not 18."). Yeah. I thought that the area around the UT-NV border was very pretty, as was the first part of NV. Here's a picture of us nearing the border.


The Nevada road sign was pretty boring. At least it wasn't ugly. Just boring. I kind of respected them for that, however, as maybe there are better things to spend state money on other than "Welcome to [insert state here]!" signs. Whatev. But apparently NV is the Silver State. Which led me to think about what other states' nicknames were. Wisconsin is the Badger State. California is the Golden State. Florida is the Sunshine State. I then couldn't think of what Minnesota was, which was mildly appalling to me. My dad kept saying, "The Land of 10,000 Lakes," but I thought that was different. You, don't all states have a title? Like, "The _______ State"? Anyway, I guessed it was the Gopher State, but my dad kept saying it wasn't. I just looked it up and it IS the Gopher State. And the North Star State (I knew that!). And it's also the Bread and Butter State (uhh, ok...). Moving on...

It was weird in the first part of NV, as the snowstorm we passed through earlier in Utah obviously had passed through here beforehand. So there was snow on the ground and bushes and trees and stuff. As we looked out the window it looked like a B&W photograph. So I took a color photo of the B&W scenery. The next picture is more or less what the rest of NV looked like. We determined that all of Nevada's penitentiaries are located in the desert off I-80. "Hey man, you can try to escape but where the hell are you going to go? You're in a desert surrounded by mountains. Good luck." There were lots of signs that said, "Prison nearby. Do not stop for hitchhikers." Haha! We by-passed Reno and headed into...

Another bad road sign--big guts and bad glare from the window. We got stopped at the CA border by state border patrol people asking if we had any vegetation or something in our car. We said no and tey waved us through. I thought it was a little weird. They don't even look, and why is it only CA? So, we entered CA and drove from there to Lake Tahoe where we stayed for the night at an America's Best, or something. It was the crappiest place we'd stayed at so far but also the most expensive. Tourist place on a Saturday, for ya. Anyway, if it truly was America's best, then that's not saying much for the state of America's hotels. But we did have a view of Lake Tahoe from our front window (albeit across a street and obstructed by trees).

That night we just walked a little bit along the lakeshore and ate at a nearby restaurant where my dad watched the Gophers get killed in football. ['ate at a' is a weird word combination as each word just chops off the last letter of the previous word] I ordered Asian Udon Noodles. Which tasted good, but really weren't anything like actual udon noodles. First off, they were in a ramen-type red-colored broth. Not like most (or any) udon noodles I've eaten previously. Secondly, they weren't udon noodles, but some other kind of noodle like flat egg noodles, or something. I don't know what they were, but they sure weren't udon noodles. But it was still good. Anyway, exeunt day 3.

Lake Tahoe has some Giant Canada Geese, but Lake Tahoe ain't got nuttin' on Silver Lake. Bitches.

Question of the Day: Do you say 'rest area', 'rest stop', or 'truck stop'? Or something altogether different?

The Best of the Rest
Behind the Scenes at The Korean Dry Cleaners

Pre-Dinner Preparation
The first few stages of the bordelaise sauce preparation:

Making the Pasta
Look, he made the dough on the table. No bowl. If I did this, it'd turn into the biggest mess on the planet. As it was, he probably didn't even need to wipe anything up afterwards. Aside from the fact that he was kneading raw egg into the table.

Look! He's pinching the dough so fast that his hands are nothing but a blur!

All the pretty maids lined up in neat rows.

Look! A video demo on how to roll and shape pasta! Learn how to make pasta from the Chef de Cuisine of The Korean Dry Cleaners! Free of charge to view!!!

The Pasta-Making Demo

Precision Knife-Work
Cutting some red peppers and black truffles.

Look! Another video! This one shows off Sunny's cutting skills. He's double-knife cutting some onions into what I call a paste. These are some hard-core knives...although he claims that they're not that sharp. Seriously, how can you cut that fast with one knife, nonetheless two?? I bet he was the "fastest knife in the kitchen" at The French Laundry (even faster than the Chef de Cuisine...which is the head chef).


Wounded in Action!
No, this Purple Heart does not go out to Sunny, but to Joleen. She cut herself on the blades of the food processor (her job was to prepare the bleu balls). She almost lost a hand, but I think we managed to stem the tide of blood just in time. Nothing a Scooby Doo band-aid didn't fix.

Hey, Joleen's doing something other than washing dishes! Here she is frying the bleu balls.

Making and rolling the cornet cones:

Lots of stuff going on on the stovetop. This was Sunny's biggest complaint. Our household's lack of sufficient numbers of pots and pans and burners. Hey man, we're not a restaurant. It's rare for more than 2 burners to be used at once around here.

The Patrons
Steve and Marolee. Nice attempt at crossing your legs, Dad.

We did our annual test of our smoke alarm during the preparation for the foie course. Evidence of foie gras remained lingering in our poorly ventilated kitchen for the next few courses. The French Laundry cookbook proved itself useful as I utilized it to fan the smoke away from the smoke alarm, thus ending the ear-shattering beeping noise.

Who needs silverware?? Not Steve!

Staff Meal
Joleen and I taking a break from service to enjoy our souffle. Yummy.

The staff lamb course classily displayed on fiesta plates.

The staff enjoying their meal at the conclusion of the service.

The Staff

Chef Sungho Jin

The General Manager and Porter, Joleen:

Chef and Captain:

The Chef and I: