Archive for October, 2008

Bullet Thoughts // 10.29.08

  • Greg Oden, the savior of the Portland Trailblazers, finally debuts on the NBA one year after P-Town acquired him.  As you may or may not know, Oden sat out his first year as an NBA player due to a knee injury acquired during a pre-season practice game.  So, here we are, one year later, when he finally “debuts” at the Blazers/Laker game on Monday, and he gets injured again!  And now he’s out for at least four weeks!  His management is adamant that they’re behind Oden all the way, but many a Blazer fan are tired of him.  Hmm, ODEN spelled differently is DONE.  I’m so clever.
  • English is my second language, and when I’m not paying attention, I would make the silliest grammatical errors.  Take for instance when someone says “Thank you” to me.  I may have it in my head to say “No problem,” but then decide that’s too casual, and aim to say “You’re welcome” instead.  But, I would get things mixed up in my head and end up saying “You’re problem” or “No welcome,” neither of which is an appropriate response and certainly sends all the wrong messages.
  • I’ve recently set a new ‘best mile’ as recorded by Nike+.  This morning, I ran a mile at a 7:44 pace.  You may recall that I posted quite a while back having run a best mile at an 8:03 pace back then.  I’m quite happy about this development. :)
  • Adults who hurt children are the biggest monsters of all.
  • I realized today that I hadn’t had a Dorito in three months.  This is quite bizarre to me, given how much I used to enjoy that snack.  My love affair with the nacho cheese goodness began in 1980.  I remember achieving such a euphoric state whenever I would open a bag.  (In fact, there was a time when I could eat a whole family-size bag by myself!)  I’m not sure what it is about the combination of textures and taste that used to make Doritos so irresistable to me.  Nowadays, I can stare at a bowl of it, and walk away.  The craving is gone.  I’m certain I’ll eat another Dorito at one point or another, and I wonder what that next bite would be like.
  • I hate having to wear glasses and detest not being able to wear contacts due to my allergies.  And I secretly wish my vision was so messed up that I would finally qualify for LASIK.  (Yes, I’d asked two optometrists so far and both have said that my vision is not severe enough to warrant the procedure.)  But, alas, that surgery is not in the cards for me yet.  And, maybe that’s for the better.  The thought of having a laser on my eyeball frightens me.

Best Asian Appetizers (so far) in P-Town

In my meanderings around Stumptown, I’ve made it a point to eat at as many of the city’s myriad Asian restaurants — from Chinese to Vietnamese to Thai to Japanese.  And while I’m nowhere near having visited all of them, here are my bets for the best appetizers offered by our humble town’s Far Eastern eateries:

Tasty!

Tasty!

PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps – Cool, crisp lettuce leaves stacked atop its own plate, await tasty fillings and select sauces, to create an incredible handheld masterpiece.  They have a vegetarian version but I am partial to the chicken, quickly cooked and lightly spiced.  They even have gluten-free!  Don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re eating something infinitely healthy, though, because of the lettuce.  Limit yourself to two and you should be fine.  This will also ensure you have enough space in your tummy for other delights to come.

Pho Dalat’s Salad Rolls - Compared to those served at many of the Thai or Vietnamese restaurants I’ve frequented in the greater Portland area, Pho Dalat’s salad rolls are, by far, the largest.  One plate, which contains two rolls sliced in half — making it a perfect appetizer plate for two to four people — is a meal in itself.  The peanut sauce it’s served with enhances the rolls’ light, textural taste.

Sungari’s Cold Noodles with Sesame Sauce - A true appetizer in its strictest term, this small bowl of chilled, cooked rice noodles, lightly tossed with the restaurant’s secret sesame sauce, and topped with a medley of crisp, julienned vegetables, aptly begins an epicurean fare.  Incidentally, Sungari also has its own version of a lettuce wrap, but I prefer PF Chang’s mainly because theirs look healthier.

Thanh Thao’s Fried Tofu – One would’ve ventured to surmise that the Japanese or Chinese would make the best fried tofu dish, but an unassuming Viet/Thai restaurant along upper Hawthorne, in my opinion, takes the top prize.  Served with a light fish sauce in which to dip the adequately soft yet crispy wedges, this Fried Tofu offering is delectable with a capital D.

Koji Osakaya’s Tori Kara-age – There’s nothing more 1980′s American than McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets.  In the same vein, there’s nothing more Japanese than the delicious tori kara-age from the geniuses at Koji Osakaya.  These deep-fried, seasoned chicken bites satiate your poultry cravings, and, despite their being deep-fried, are actually quite light on the palate and the arteries.  Again, moderation is key, but no one would blame you if you scarfed down an entire plate by your lonesome.

I’ve only scratched the surface of Portland’s Asian eateries, and I know that there are many diamonds in the rough waiting to be discovered.  I’ll write a follow-up to this appetizers list when I’ve gotten more material about which to report, but my next entry would focus on entrees.  What better to follow appetizers with!

Photo Credit

Help Whip Cancer

I’m just helping to spread the word about Lee Ann’s goal to help whip cancer.  She is a Pampered Chef consultant who has decided to donate to the American Cancer Society all of her commission for sales from 10/24 thru 10/31.  Plus our mutual employer is going to match her donation!  Every little bit helps in the fight against cancer.

Half Marathon…Just Because!

What the hell was I thinking?

 

At an 8:20 pace...what the hell was I thinking?

Bullet Thoughts // 10.24.08

  • I’ve reclaimed my Monday nights!  I am no longer waiting to tune in to a particular show that has gone from hit to shit since its groundbreaking premier two seasons ago.  I am talking about the TV show, Heroes, whose premise has spiraled in all directions — and none of them exclusively good — since Hiro went back to feudal Japan at the start of the second season.  Tim Kring and his team either got extremely lazy with their writing or they’ve deluded themselves (and their network) into thinking that what they’ve produced for Season 3 not only will win their fans back but gain new ones.  This former fan, their decreased viewership, and even Entertainment Weekly, have serious doubts.
  • By accident, I recently discovered Michael Savage‘s radio show called Savage Nation on Portland’s KXL Newsradio 750 AM, which I also accidentally discovered while trying to locate NPR.  I should explain that the reason I was searching for NPR was because I’ve found myself driving these days with the music off, but decided that I still needed some sort of auditory stimuli to bear with the daily commute.  And, when I got tired of talking to myself for the sake of having sounds in the car, I thought, “National Public Radio!  Why not?  Smart people listen to it, so I should too!”  Alas, I wasn’t smart enough to know which frequency in Portland broadcast NPR, and ended up on Savage’s show one afternoon.  To say the least, it was riveting.  Here’s a man who speaks his mind.  I may not agree 100% with everything he’s spouting off about, but he makes some very interesting points.  Interesting enough that I, being neither a Democrat nor a Republican, have tuned in to his show for the last week now, and have been intrigued.  Although, some of the people who call in to his show scare me, people with whom I would have a problem relating.  But I have to remind myself that they, too, are just speaking their minds — the very basis of Independent thinking.  I’ll give Savage a few more listens, and then I’ll make up my mind whether I’m a budding Independent or a Progressive or a Progressive Independent…or if I should turn the music back on.
  • I love the autumn leaves until it’s time to rake them.

Forty-One Years

41 Years of Wedded Bliss...

Mom and Dad: 41 Years of Wedded Bliss...

Cowboys Got Ram-med!

Jackson is the shitz!

Jackson is the shitz!

The Rams beat the Cowboys today, 34 to 14, giving them 2/4 this season so far.  That’s two NFC East teams whooped by Bulger & Co. two weeks in a row.  Just sayin…

Honestly Speaking…

So, I’ve been labeled by Bekki as ‘honest’ and given an award, and now I am following these rules:

“When you receive the prize you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs (or more) that you find brilliant in their content or design. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing they were prized with ‘Honest Weblog’.  List [if you can and/or dare] at least ten honest things about yourself. And then, pass it on.”

Apart from Bekki and Bryan, listed below are fellow bloggers who I feel are exceptionally transparent in their posts that it’s always refreshing to read them, as if you and they are just talking in the same room together.  And, yes, I think they’re brilliant:

inProgress

inWorship

Mandy Thompson

Curlywurlygurly

Darkly Dreaming David

My Everyday Life

Rejecting Your Reality and Substituting My Own

Now for my list of ‘honest things’:

I hate politics. I keep up only so that I can contradict my uber-political friends during their tirades, even if I don’t feel particularly strongly about the contrast position.  I just like to irritate them.

I love anime. My Netflix queue currently has at least 84 titles in them and, you guessed it, they’re 99% anime.  Yup, I’m a freak.

I don’t really enjoy wine tastings. I think they’re pretentious and a waste of time.  But, I go because I love the fruit and cheese tray.

I hate family gatherings. I only attend to appease the parents and siblings.  I can stand maybe only 5% of my extended family.

I love getting haircuts.  If my hair grew quickly, I would get a haircut every week.  But, alas, I’m limited to having one only once a month.

I miss my dog, Albert. He was a family pooch, but I think he was closest to me.  He was a cool dog, and I hope he’s having a blast in dog heaven.

I would love to live in Japan. I am a big-time Nipponphile.

I’m going to stop at seven because I think that’s an awesome number.

Up In Smoke

Is there like a smoker’s karma or something?  That something horrifically terrible will happen to you if you don’t succumb to a request from a fellow smoker who was bumming a stick from you?  I’ve often wondered about this.

I used to be a smoker but I quit back in the late 90s.  I remember always having a pack on me; I never had to bum a cig from anyone.  Okay, that’s a lie — I did bum cigs from my friends (to whom I would reciprocate), but never from total strangers.  Hmm, come to think of it, I actually don’t recall having total strangers bumming cigs from me back then either.  Anyway, I wonder what will happen if a smoker purposefully denied a cig-bummer.  Will their lighter suddenly run out of fluid, and they then have to bum a lighter from somebody?  Will their cigarette inadvertently explode in their face?

This afternoon while at a bus stop, I witnessed a woman asking a guy who was smoking for a cigarette.  When the guy handed her one, she said, “Do you have another for my friend here?”  The guy was visibly annoyed but handed another stick for the woman’s friend.  I shook my head, thinking: “If you don’t have money to support the habit, try to kick it.”  Of course, that woman may be trying to kick the habit, which is why she didn’t have any cigs on her.  But, it sort of defeats the purpose if you can bum a stick from a fellow smoker anyway.

I’m so glad I quit smoking dedaces ago.  For starters, I don’t think I’ll be able to condition myself for running if I was a smoker.  Oh, and I would like to live a long life.

It Doesn’t Always End Like This…

One lucky bastard

One lucky bastard

Derek Mamoyac, a climber, lost for five days on Mount Adams (in Washington State), was found alive on Friday afternoon by rescue dog crew.  A happy ending indeed.  It’s interesting to read how varied people’s thoughts are in terms of the circumstances surrounding this young man’s plight and eventual rescue.  There were as many raking him through the coals for being “a dummy” or “unprepared” as there were those who came to his defense.

Thankfully, it looks like this guy must’ve been a regular viewer of Man vs. Wild because it seemed that he knew how to stay alive, by subsisting on centipedes and other bugs when he ran out of food, and hydrating himself at nearby creeks.  Yet, I can’t help but wonder if this story would’ve had a different ending had we been in the middle of winter.  I shudder to think…



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