Sunday, May 21, 2017

Don't Be Cute

Panda Express at lunchtime had a nightmare of a line at the drive-thru and considering the parking lot was full, I was guessing the line inside was as well. I had a coupon for a free entree and wasn't in a hurry. As I made my way across the lot, I was on an intercept course with two white men who appeared to be college students. I beat them to the door but, since I'm usually a nice guy, held the door open to let them go in before I did.

As I looked up to make eye contact, the tallest looked me up and down. There is nothing that I can point to but a feeling that I had just been weighed and measured went down my spine as soon as my eyes locked onto his.

"Gracias," he said.

"Gracias," his companioned followed.

Oh hell no. I can play that game too. It seemed too long to spit it out but I said, "Bitte."

By then the two guys had their back to me but I saw them look at each other with a confused look, as if to ask, "What did he say?"

Now, I have said many things in plenty of languages, trying to be cute--but only to people I know. I have never done that to a complete stranger. Assuming a person's ethnicity or language on the basis of their appearance can blow up in your face.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Two Parties.

My cousin Kaylee was confirmed into the church today. I'm not much of a church person, but I went anyways. I still don't care for it but it was important to my family. Even my Uncle Jeff came and I suspect that he's about as religious as I am. After the service we had after-confirmation party for her. Food and family--always a fun time.

I had to leave early to make it Logan's birthday party. I'm friends with his parents and he calls me Uncle David. (Awww--I know!) His mom throws pretty cool birthday parties and I didn't want to miss it.

I noticed that with my invitation to Logan's birthday, there was a note that said a gift was not expected. There was a pile of gifts when I got there. I asked another person there, Emily, about it and she was puzzled; she didn't get it. It seems like no one else got it. I wonder if this may have been about that baseball bat that I gifted previously.  Hmmmm.....

Friday, April 28, 2017


I took one last look at my apartment. It was a quick look because time was running out. I had horribly underestimated the amount of time it would take to move out and I needed to hand over the keys before the office closed. My lease for my apartment had ended and I didn't wish to renew it. Note to self: take more than two days to move next time.

I have a possible job lead down in Florida and I intend to take it--just as soon as it opens up. In the mean time, I have moved back in with my parents. I'm not loving it and I suppose that is a good thing as it is driving me to get out as soon as I can. Don't get me wrong, I love my parents. I just don't want to live with them.

Even if the lead doesn't work out, I have set into motion a series of events that will see me in Florida eventually. A friend has kindly offered to put me up while I look for a job down there. As soon as my car is paid off, I think I will take a leap and head down there. My life has been stagnating for a while and I think that moving away may start a new period of growth for me. That's my hope at least.

...Plus, I no longer have internet.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

International Food Fair - Vegetarian Edition

There was an international food fair being held at Andrews University today. I met up with my friends, Kraig and Stacey. Stacey and I have gone to this before and we enjoyed ourselves.

The event is open and you are required to buy tickets. The various booths had signs telling you what they were offering and how many tickets were required. Andrews U is Seventh Day Adventist so this is a vegetarian food fair.

Last time, I bought $20 worth of tickets. This time, I bought $10. Mostly because I am poor but this is still enough to get a good tasting meal as you can see. I don't know what half the stuff I ate was. I simply pointed and asked for what looked good. 

So what I have here going from top left and clockwise is:
Some thick doughy rice noodles with a chili (?) sauce. Very spicy and tasty. Trying to chew up the rice dough was a little off putting though. 
Chicken (fake soy chicken) Curry with potatoes and green peas. Pretty good but it was served up cold. 
Spring Roll. I needed to use up the last of my tickets. It tasted okay although I think they should have fried it longer. 
Roti flat bread. Pretty good. Helped sop up some of the sauces. 
Some kind of fake soy chicken in a delicious coconut curry sauce. Very light and aromatic. It was my favorite. 
Not seen is a slice of flan and chocolate truffle.
There were tons of other things that I would have loved to try. Fellow meat-eaters, I think you would enjoy many of things that were offered. Fellow Filipinos, if you think it is wrong to make lumpia and pancit without meat, still come, but skip that booth.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Performance Review

I had my performance review today. Although I am not supposed to tell you about, what are they going to do, fire me? It went very well. I received high marks in all fields. While not perfect-apparently the company doesn't believe perfection is attainable but they have it on the point system- I was told I was one of the highest scorers. I even had some positive input from another supervisor which I found surprising since I keep thinking he hates me for some reason.

My actual supervisor had only one worry: that I wasn't applying myself. I had his full support if I wanted to advance further up. I have the knowledge and experience. The thing is that I have applied for higher positions in the company before and each time I was passed over-even by people coming in from outside the company. You can even read a post about that here. God bless him for trying to push me but I don't know if I have any drive in me for that place anymore.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Tastes from Home

While I was in Las Vegas this past fall, I went on a pilgrimage to a shopping center that catered to Filipinos called Seafood City. It came to my attention while searching for a Jollibee location. It was my first time out west since 2008 and I didn't want to waste an opportunity to get some nostalgic food.

A few weeks ago I found out that two Jollibee locations had opened up in Chicago last year. One was attached to an also-opened Seafood City. I knew I had to make my way there and I needed to do it as soon as possible. That day was today.

I took my mom. Although she had heard about this place a long time ago--probably before it even opened--she wont drive into the city. This was her first time as well and she was excited. The only complaint that I think she had was that the prices were too high in comparisons to the same items that she could find stores closers to home. The advantage of Seafood City was that they carried things that the locals stores didn't.
Balut. For more on this click here.

So much Spam!

Yum. Blood and bile. Yeah, no, I don't eat this.

Where we live, seafood comes frozen and not definitely with the variety that they had here. Open tables of fish, clams, squid, shrimp and more. We were actually confused as to how to properly get these checked out. It was so new to us.

Since I drove my mom out to Chicago, she offered to buy me lunch. Although there were other tempting places to eat, I wanted to feed the nostalgia that I was feeling for Jollibee. Although not as busy as I had heard, the line did stretch to and almost out the door.

I opted to go for the spaghetti. I remembered not liking it when I lived in the Philippines but after watching some YouTube videos of Americans liking it, I wanted to give it another chance. Turned out to be a good decision. I found myself enjoying it. Mom got the palabok. It was okay and I would certainly eat it again if it was put in front of me but it's not my favorite food. The fried chicken was fresh, juicy, crispy. The taste bland and not very noteworthy. I'd try the spicy version next time. However, they do chicken right so I give it my recommendation. Peach Mango Pie---delicious although I swear there should be chunks of fruit in there.

I got my fast food. Mom got her cooler full of fish and exotic vegetables. It was a good day.