My eyes were set on Tree Lighting night, just they had been last year. The day actually played out similar to last year as well, in that I would be venturing downtown in advance of the afternoon rush, setting up a remote work station nearby, and trekking over as dusk fell upon the city.
The primary difference was the bonus of being chauffeured, which enabled me to continue working throughout the commute, redirecting my attention from the sleepy polar bear's sometimes aggressive roadway maneuvers to the multiple databases and email panel before me. For this year, they had removed the ticketing requirement for the ceremony, reinstating complimentary admission for the event's first night of operation.
Parking rates had, thankfully, not seen a spike since the rise in GTA-wide prices. The Cooperage garage remained at a $9 flat rate for any period over three hours. I proposed the location again due to its proximity to the market and outlet-equipped café.
At Dark Horse, I would continue my duties until the 4 PM mark. In the meantime, the sleepy polar bear, who had griped about my not requesting the day off to match (why would I?) but opted not to venture off solo, requested a Pumpkin Spice Latte for sipping. It was quite tasty, admittedly, in spite of the fall flavour's questionable track record in my books.
We then began to make our way over to the Distillery District. The path was identical to that of the previous year, with the exception of more construction signage, closed sidewalks, and patches of slushiness. It was, most likely, the warmest year of any Christmas Market attendance. (Obviously, this didn't stop the sleep polar bear from complaining though.)
Volunteers and other event staff had just started filing in at this time. The intersecting paths of bulbs were yet to be illuminated, but a faint glimmer could be observed on the premises: either the gentle flickering from the lampposts or the gleam of golden ornaments.
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Absence of reason constitutes the bane of my existence. Whether it be a lack of functionality, critical thinking, or loss of logic, the sheer act drives me to the point of absolute exasperation.
Throughout the week, I began to observe a drop in energy levels, likely a temporary side effect following COVID infection. My olfactory and gustatory senses had remained intact; the virus had not impacted my ability to taste Apple Dumplings and their buttery, brown sugar juices nor homemade meals with too-creamy Portuguese sauce, however, I soon discovered its unexpected impact to beer.
Long anticipated swigs of Pumpkin Ale and Kronenbourg Blanc resulted in near-identical profiles of cherry cough syrup. Citrusy was not the Blanc, nor spicy was the Ale. These wallop woes led to disappointment: a natural reaction to the flavours of loved beverages removed or altered from one's inventory.
I also began to develop red bumps on my legs, particularly at the front of the thighs. It first commenced with a few on the right thigh, then quickly spread to the left. Scratching only worsened the spread.
Thankfully, the rash subsided in a few days after intake of Reactine and application of a powerful steroid cream (not recommended, as skin discolouration/lightening can occur).
The work week saw return of my field equipment to the office, along with a rare AM trip to Costco.
Upon completion of my final round of P1Harmony edits, I decided it was time to step out for fresh air.
Truthfully, I had nowhere to go, and no event warranting gas and travel time. The late hour of 6:30 PM made it unsuitable for undertaking a cycling run; there was insufficient energy to muster up a round of pilates either.
I ventured out towards Golden Square Centre, my heart set on the Chung Chun Rice Hot Dog I had been denied of on the previous evening.
The lineup was nonexistent at my time of arrival. Two customers waited within the establishment for their orders, positioning themselves along the perimeter of the space as there were no tables or chairs for dine-in.
Unsure of the order format, I took to one of the Combos for simplicity sake. The Chung Chun Combo comprised of Sweet Potato, Ramen Chips, Squid Ink Cheese, Gamsung, while the Cheese Bomb consisted of Whole Mozzarella, Double Cheese, Marble Cheese, and Cheddar Cheese. Mixing and matching between the combos was not permitted, thus I sought the former on the basis of variety.
An estimated wait time of ten minutes was relayed to me. I took to undertaking a loop about the parking lot, observing partial curb replacement and shoddily placed interlock at one of the medians.
Entering the space again, I was surprised to see a queue spanning at least six people. My order number was called out at this time, and sauces were offered to me for drizzling atop the dogs. Expressing hesitation at the addition, the girl behind the counter offered to place my selections on the side, to which I happily agreed. To prevent sogginess, two containers of each condiment were fitted between the bottoms of the skewers.
Squid Ink Cheese was sampled first: the top inch of the dog was filled with a soft (but not stringy) mozzarella cheese, while the remaining three quarters an extremely salty wiener dog. Odd was it to discover that the cheese was not uniformly distributed along the length of the dog. The squid ink batter was largely bland in profile, while a panko-style exterior offered crunchiness.
Ramen Chips was an amusing pick with phenomenal texture but an otherwise gummy interior. The rice flour batter was dense and hardly appetizing; the wiener sausage, while packed with less sodium than the Squid Ink, was nothing formidable either.
Gamsung, the supposed classic of the franchise, emerged as the least popular option. The potato bits were extremely satiating, especially when consumed along with the gummy rice flour batter. Only one quarter of the dog saw depletion. Its remnants were tossed to the side, sausage removed.
Sweet Potato was declared the winner of the quad for its delightful sweet-yet-addicting exterior, a comparatively less tacky rice flour batter, and comparatively less salty sausage. Munching on the coating was akin to enjoying a side of sweet potato fries.
Although having tasted all four specimens, we failed to comprehend the novelty of the rice hot dog trend. Beyond the various toppings and specialty inclusion of squid ink, neither the rice flour batter nor sausages were compelling enough for a second visit. Cheesiness was also found extremely lacking.
Out & About #822 | Weekly Roundup: I Love Pho, The Underground + Ube Mochi Creations
A minimum of two in-office days has been mandated by corporate, much to my disgruntled distaste.
Monday was supposedly quieter than most days, thus anticipated to provide a peaceful working environment for my 8-hour-plus day. The setup procedure was tedious in itself: from locating one's assigned seating in the space, discovering variances from the online seating chart versus the in-office edition, and finding your deskmate already seated to relocating to a different numbered table and wiping away seemingly weeks of dust and tackiness, it all seemed utterly unnecessary for the commencement of work.
Beyond an additional thirty to forty minutes of commute time, unassigned seating and workstation preparations accounted for nearly thirty minutes more in delays. Let's also not forego monitor troubleshooting periods, which constituted fifteen minutes of unassisted issue resolution.
To say that I was displeased would be an understatement, for I saw absolutely no value in entering the premises when neither time nor productivity was gained. Moreover, I was haggard, restless from inadequate sleep the night before.
I took to M Cha Bar's recently opened Mississauga outpost afterwards in an attempt to appease the soul. Having been shuttered for Taste of Asia, cravings had been suppressed since the Friday past. At long last, I would seek out the coveted Roasted Oolong Milk Tea with Coffee Jelly, but not without some difficulty.
The stall was located near the entrance of Ocean's, positioned within a section that housed other prepared foods. Operating as a standalone establishment, I was grateful to find their acceptance of credit card. I opted out of making purchases from the supermarket itself, in fear that I would be rejected without debit or cash on hand.
The Roasted Oolong Milk Tea with Coffee Jelly was as delectable as I recalled, on par with the Vaughan original and unlike the sickening creaminess of the Scarborough spot. A Mango Pomelo - taro balls removed - was requested for the sleepy polar bear. Even at 50% sugar, the beverage was underwhelming - bland, even. Strawberry chunks at the base of the cup was a welcome twist, though the distinct lack of mango depth was incredibly disappointing.
I Love Pho was secured for supper en route home.
The spread consisted of:
Prices have surged since our last visit, escalating up to 20% markup in comparison to their online menu.
At 4 AM, I reluctantly lifted my eyelids in response to the dreaded alarm. It was time to prepare.
Only dawning on me at bedtime was Larry's absence from my daily routine for the next little while. I had bid a lengthy farewell to him the evening prior, yet still wasn't quite ready to say goodbye to his cozy, furry presence amidst last-minute packing.
"Hey I'm on the Uber (heading) to the airport now." came a text from the Thai ahgase at 4:33 AM. She had departed earlier than I thought necessary, especially given her limited quantity of carry-on baggage, and arrived just short of 5 AM, just as I begun to close the trunk.
Within 15 minutes, I arrived at Pearson. The scene wasn't particularly chaotic - nowhere near as incredulous as news articles had made it out to seem. I printed my baggage tags without issues, then realized the calamity that awaited me: The baggage drop belt was malfunctioning.
I waited with inquisitiveness, initially unsure of the issue. After fifteen minutes of mistakenly joining the line for international departures, a member of staff gestured towards the side for domestic travel. There was no improvement to be witnessed, however, for the automated system was stalled for both international and domestic sections.
I was fifth in line to the bag drop, yet it made no difference as the line was not moving. A concerned flyer relayed her concerns to a nearby member of staff.
"What do I do if my flight is leaving?"
"You leave your luggage and run." the lady responded apathetically.
"And that," I thought, "is how you lose your luggage." I powered on my headphones and commenced the opening scene of Moana, in an attempt to balance feelings of helplessness with patience.
The queuing would only continue in the meantime, with crowds forming at each line and more passengers struggling to weave through the queue to access the kiosks. Suddenly, chaos had prevailed. The articles hadn't been mistaken after all. Even more amusing were the words of another member of staff that had passed us by: "It stopped once when I started, at 4 AM. This is the second time." It was shocking that, not only was the issue one of recurring nature, its priority for rectification was so low on the list. A manual override would have resolved the congestion while the technicians worked to rectify in the background.
The delay ensued until around 6:30 AM, where the belt accepted the baggage of 3 customers before ceasing functionality once again. It sputtered various error messages before working again - this time long enough for my luggage to be scanned and transported to the main belt.
In contrast to my 1.25 hours of frustration, the Thai ahgase had made it through security with ample time to spare, even offering to obtain a Starbucks breakfast for me while I restlessly stood at the baggage drop. I had declined the offer at the time, given that I neither had the appetite nor a definitive time of gate entry.
Security screening was the next step. The crowd was diverted from the domestic screening area ("D") to the international side ("E"). A twisting queue had formed here, yet the volumes dissipated quickly. Despite my laptop being held hostage for some period of time, all screening measures concluded within fifteen to twenty minutes.
From that point, I raced back towards the domestic side, laying eyes on the ridiculous lineup stemming from the gates.
The departure gate was misread, and I headed in the direction of DAVID's TEA, where my flights were often stationed. Only upon double-checking did I realize my mistake and retraced my footsteps. The Thai ahgase came into view just as boarding commencement was announced.
Somehow, I managed to use the bathroom, snag a Raisin Bran Muffin, and refill my water bottle using one of the questionably clean fountains all before emplaning. We were then YVR-bound.
Feedback tends to generate a wide array of responses. Constructive criticism isn't always met with a positive, contemplative reaction. Yet, the same can be said about praise.
When chancing across new species of humans, I was dumbfounded to find them fishing for praise, that mindless commentary from those irrelevant to their lives held so much power over them. I also grew wary of those seemingly allergic to feedback, any negativity or disagreement from their preferred practice or habits, and, conclusively, change.
On the contrary, rarely do I respond positively to praise, instead seeking out areas of improvement that can be addressed constructively. While a firm non-believer of perfection (beyond GOT7 and Park Jinyoung, of course), I've strived to achieve objectively good results by taking into consideration the perspective of a variety of users. Further constructive remarks are also welcome, with each iteration enabling growth and progress.
Many, many attempts at Soy Braised Eggs have honed a time-consuming, but worthwhile procedure. The eggs ought be cooked to a soft-boiled state, where the whites have solidified but the yolks remain runny. The soy-based formula is brought to a simmer, reduced, and let cool to at least room temperature. Too many times have I submerged cooled eggs into piping hot braise, leading residual heat to remove the translucent, gooey properties of the yolk. One cannot rush the steeping process: forty-eight hours is the minimum chill time required to obtain umami goodness.
A replacement microwave reinstated the ability to quickly reheat food and beverages, eliminating the 30-minute heat-up period and reducing the chance of steam burns.
Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate and Coffee Frappés were enjoyed as mid-day pick-me-ups, while a soju float combining Green Apple Soju and Hazelnut Gelato from Nani's Gelato sealed off a relaxing post-stretch session.
A gentle buzz set off my phone around lunch hour on a sunny Tuesday - it was McDonald's announcing their new McNugget dipping sauce. Without a moment's hesitation, I was persuaded to embark on the trip.
Temperatures had dropped since the previous day, casting a chilly veil on the park I had ventured towards. The skies were vividly blue, yet cloud cover was unmistakable. Occasional gusts had me questioning my choice of attire: nylon Adidas track pants and the white short-sleeved tee from Jay B's first Represent collaboration.
The spread consisted of a Big Mac ($3.49 on Mobile Offer!), Peach Passionfruit Smoothie, and 10-piece McNuggets. Alongside the chain's newest Honey BBQ sauce was the classic choice of Barbeque.
Entry into the working world has solidified the importance of events that never truly garnered much interest in my teen and young adult years.
Politics matter, whether you believe true democracy will prevail or not. Familiarizing oneself with the various parties may be a hassle, but these respective platforms, supplemented by general public opinion, are deciding factors in the government's future investment(s) and job availability. Every instance of tax relinquishment reflects our investment back into the system, so thorough contemplation of these matters isn't entirely optional, as much as the act of voting is made out to seem.
Spendings have been striking this quarter, spanning utility bills, vehicle maintenance, small appliance replacement, and special occasion dining ventures. Adding to the financial burden is a pending vacation (at long last!!) and GOT7's comeback. VICTON and ASTRO are also releasing EPs within this month, though their impact is negligible in comparison to OT7.
It is with much dismay to note that my quarterly review is delayed. The corporate class is frustrating, with an insatiable appetite for prosperity and ascent on the social ladder; what is more: these circumstances are consistent across majority of companies, with the same woes being expressed by those simply looking to survive, and maybe strive towards their career goals.
The week commences with Dalgona Lattes, one with espresso and one with a concentrated dose of genmaicha. Sickeningly sweet are the shards when incorporated in generous handfuls. In small doses though, they are quite enjoyable, contributing a caramely robustness to the iced beverages. Granola with vanilla Greek yogurt subs in for blue sky bran muffins on a few breakfasts.
In the absence of a functioning microwave, creativity continues to be employed for the delivery of weekday meals in a timely manner. Sourced from the freezer are frozen vegetables and a mini pizza, which is elevated with additional cheese cubes and a few strips of Arirang takeout bossam.
Steamed Pork & Chive buns, chopped kale, and garlic short ribs were also obtained from the same source, then subject to heat via either steaming or baking in the toaster oven.
Creations of the week included:
1) Marbled Banana Bread Feat. Mini Marbled Loaves
With five browning bananas on hand, it was time for another batch of freezer-ready banana bread to be constructed. SK's marbled prescription used three bananas, masses unknown. To scale the recipe accordingly, each banana was weighed and approximated at 130 g. Removing brown patches would leave the standard banana at about 88 g.
Congestion creeps up when you least expect it. Countless weeks have I traversed the same route on the 401 to Studio Bon without issues, yet the days that are not executed solo entail issues.
With a late departure and notification of all Express lanes closed for who-knows-what, a delay of ten minutes befell upon my drive. Distractions were plenty, but from the passenger seat as opposed to the vehicles surrounding me. Disturbing the driver with non-constructive opinions is ill-advised, yet it happens frequently to those unaware of the implications of their actions.
I arrived to pilates no more than five minutes late, scurried to the bathroom, and re-joined the class after the first 20 Bosu marches had been executed. Exempt I was was not from the Bosu runs, which I have, admittedly, come to like after all these weeks. In contrast to the Cardio-Tramp, which can be quite challenging at high spring levels (red and above), the Bosu summons core strength and introduces mobility to the body without straining sleepy muscles.
Facing perpendicular to the Bosu ball with one foot placed atop, we proceeded with twists of the upper body with arms in genie position ("shoulders down!" was reminded of all of us), side crunches, and, finally, the "speed training" lateral steps guaranteed to raise one's heart rate. Instead of aiming to cover greater distance, I tried to keep the body as still as possible, bouncing from one foot to another without extension of the legs or drastic shifting on the body. A safe landing on the other side of the Bosu was crucial, for any instability in the ankle could lead to injury by rolling. The move was executed slightly different by each class participant: my neighbour placed heavy emphasis on the bounce-off, while the other girl kept her body fairly upright.
Lying on the Reformer, we took several deep breaths to calm the body. The legs were sent to the left and right to release any lower back tension. From that point, we would engage in a core routine with a partially deflated ball placed between the inner thighs. Squeezing against the ball at all times, we completed hundreds, toe dips to the "wood plate", leg extensions, and leg extensions with a crunch.
Continuing with more thigh work, both feet were threaded through the tension straps. Remaining in a lying position on the Carriage, the legs were lowered to the point where a neutral spine could be maintained. With the resistance of two red springs, this was quite the challenging starting position. The partially deflated ball was placed between the calves, slightly above the ankles this time. While squeezing against the ball, we would lower the legs with an imprint spine and lift back up to neutral. Scissors and Double Ds - in both directions! - were also executed while attempting to keep the Carriage as still as possible. Finishing this segment was the stretching of the inner thighs by extending the legs beyond the Reformer in a V-shape and pressing them down towards the Carriage.
Tension cable-bases exercises are particularly interesting in that they expose lack of mobility. Where flexibility is lacking, the range of motion becomes limited. Where strength is lacking, the cable quivers as the body moves. My left side, the infinitely weaker side of my body, struggles to resist the red springs, such that even maintaining the neutral starting position is a challenge.
Flipping over to a high kneeling position on the Carriage, we gripped the loop of the tensions straps for upper back exercises. An additional white spring had been added to our usual blue, increasing the level of difficulty. I was reminded to keep the tailbone tucked on many occasions, for the imprint pelvis was apparently not pronounced enough. Grand efforts were made to keep the chin lifted and shoulders relaxed while isolating the back and triceps.
Rotating 180 degrees to face the footbar, arms were threaded through the hand straps and raised from hip height to slightly above the shoulders. We would then extend the palms outwards while inhaling, and contract the pectoral muscles while bringing the hands back to the raised position before bending the elbows and lowering to hip height once more.
More lower body exercises would be executed while standing. The Reformer Box was obtained from the wall and placed in the Long Box Position on the floor next to the Reformer frame. One foot was placed in the centre of the Box, while the sole of the other was slid against the shoulder rest. The knee of the standing leg would be bent while the other foot pushed out against the Carriage. In the lunge position, the body was hinged forward slightly; the glute of the resting leg was to be squeezed to maintain squareness in the hips. Constant reminders were made towards all class participants, for failure to isolate the correct muscle rendered the exercise significantly less effective.
Wrapping up the class were several stretches, ranging from a tension-affixed child's pose on the Reformer, a standing rolldown, and shoulder rolls - three in each direction.
My path reconvened with the girl whom I had unintentionally matched leggings with several weeks prior. It was learned that our paths would cross again in the future, though regrettably not within the same class slot.
Lunch was slated for 1 PM at Terroni Price, prompting a speedy change of clothes and rushed brushing of compressed strands.
A popular pick for Hallmark holidays, the table had been secured weeks in advance via OpenTable. Across Price Street was the familiar asphalt lot we had encountered during the last visit. The minor road was still uneven with more rutting and utility cut patches to count, while construction was still ongoing just east of the restaurant. Beyond these elements, the neighbourhood was quite serene, as expected of the affluent Rosedale-Summerhill district.
We had requested the patio, and were gestured towards two flights of stairs to the rooftop. There, another hostess table was positioned. One of the members of staff, dressed peculiarly in a Sherpa-lined jacket and runners, greeted us lethargically before impatiently revealing our seating options for the meal. The tables in direct sunlight were dismissed in favour of a round table with high stools by the bar.
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Out & About #811 | Weekly Roundup Feat. Quick Tiramisu Cake + Baking Extravaganza
Tension in the neck, shoulder, back, and wrist are not atypical in office workers. Grueling durations before a screen, intense typing, and extensive mousework are the common culprits of biomechanical discomfort, becoming more prevalent in the new-age work-from-home model.
Occupations offering insurance coverage for paramedical services serve to alleviate a small portion of these damages, though fail to rectify the issue at the source. Training modules surrounding musculoskeletal wellbeing and proper ergonomics is great was awareness, but useless if never utilized in practice. The corporate world exhibits favouritism towards their resources, placing highest priority on the inanimate - funding, growth, and profit - consequently cutting investment in human resources and preventing an environment for progression.
A long-awaited massage appointment assisted in reducing pains temporarily. Leaving a stronger impression were the horrendous stench of the oil used at the facility and discussions ranging from the annual salmon run along the Credit River to abhorrence against "urbanization" of the GTA.
Strong opposition was heard in response to the development of Mississauga, for the addition of high-rise residential buildings and late-night establishments had supposedly stripped the city of its suburban nature, rendering it closer to the likes of downtown Toronto than its original identity. While never one to disapprove with positive change and infrastructure improvements, I listened intently to these concerns. The Hurontario LRT was noted to be disruptive - an aspect I cannot deny as both a driver and pedestrian, yet even more so by residents along the corridor.
"Why wasn't it put along Dixie?"
I withheld my irked reaction to this question, further stifling the obvious answer of "To promote foot traffic along the Hurontario corridor to business development and connect to both Miway and GO Transit services". Being primarily industrial, Dixie needs not transit, but a wider path for transport trucks and industrial teams.
The proposal for a lofty condominium with an 8-level underground parking area adjacent to an older affordable apartment complex was met with much criticism. I visualized the impacts of utility relocation and pile driving for such an extravagant concept. With the work area being limited to start, the addition of stakeholder complaints and challenging ground conditions would only further the headache of the developer.
Later that evening, the sleepy polar bear brought over our - yes, our - newly acquired Codenames set. Neither of us succeeded in upholding a poker face; instead, I utilized the opportunity for advancing understanding. Parallels could be drawn from the game in the terms of planning and production: dropping keyword hints and analyzing responses was much like the act of seeking feedback from the general public during PICs. The tiny cards are great vocabulary builders (associators?), yet, at a deeper level, prompt us to target society's issues more comprehensively from an infrastructure and development perspective.
Breakfasts comprised of blue sky bran muffins and ginger-laced Banana Bread - on demand from the freezer and toasted to perfection. An inkling of interest re-emerged towards the forgotten Green Tea Hoddeok pre-mix, but was ultimately not pursued.
The midweek acquisition of fresh mint paved the path towards mocktails: mojitos with Ribena, lemon juice, and Perrier.
With the unexpected failure of our ten-year-plus microwave, reheating of sustenance was conducting via steaming. The old-fashioned method was organic, yet far slower than my schedule is accustomed. From assembly to ingestion, the entire process spanned up to thirty minutes, excluding cleaning time for the steamer itself. Never had I previously considered the microwave to be a privilege, when, in reality, it was. Heat distribution within a matter of minutes had been a blessing. Only now have I realized its pivotal post in my daily routine.
My COBS Bread half-birthday reward was finally claimed: the recently launched Strawberry Passion Fruit Scone was rigid and dense, very sweet overall but decent for satisfying the munchies. White chocolate-like bits were found within the scone itself,while a uniform glaze on the surface revealed tartness.
Creations of the week included:
1) Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispies
Perusal of the SK feed and recollection of my leftover Christmas Krispies spurred this creation. With just under one third of the tri-colour cereal remaining and more than enough mini marshmallows reserved for post-hot chocolate season, this decadent dessert came together in about the same amount of time as the standard kid-friendly batch. Salted browned butter heightened its complexity, while the substantial portion of marshmallows kept it plush with signature stringy strands. Flakey salt in the form of smoked Maldon topped off the treat.
Out & About #810 | Weekly Roundup Feat. Cycling to Port Credit + Coffee Castella
As with the most stubborn of adrenaline junkies, I find myself constantly testing the physical limitations of time in order to achieve more. For workplace duties, I am often provided more tasks than physically capable (and reasonably reimbursed for), thus strive to automate processes in order to earn back some breathing space. The plan backfires again and again, for upper management cares not of the wellbeing of their junior employees, but the milestones attained at a corporate level. Greed and pride are the dark drivers of ambition, leading countless to exploit both living and inanimate resources to rise along the social and economic ladder.
There is little to be negotiated in the corporate environment, for endurance is a matter of survival of the fittest, supplemented by underhanded compliments to establish shallow working relationships. In what remains of my personal time, I make steadfast attempts to portion it out with the aim of achieving the most. The habit, while rational in its conception, is dangerous over extended periods of time. It involves pushing oneself to the brink of death, and quite possibly into a somber territory of lifelessness before retreating a few steps, then doing it all over again. Burnout lies at the end of this all-too-familiar path to exhaustion. Yet, despite knowing the consequences, I unconsciously default to it anyway. And now, my calendar is filled till mid-summer.
Having earned a throbbing headache and burning eyeballs at the end of each work day, I began to push away those seeking sympathy. It was never my strong suit to start, but a further reduction in sanity hours only worsened my reactions.
Schedule regulation was an act I had kept at the back of my mind, occasionally dabbling in it as needed. My routine had stayed relatively consistent over the past few years, especially given the dreadful, health-wrecking work-from-home situation, but the introduction of new priorities (needs?) demand a change. Frequently do I preach the importance of taking matters into one's own hands to yield the preferred result; I shall not be the hypocrite this time, nor any other time.
The week starts with unofficial meetings: Teams call after Teams call to address various issues. A mid-day boost is crafted from Paragon's Oolong tea powder and a few drops of ube extract mixed with sweetened condensed milk. The result was a two-toned Oolong Ube Latte with stronger notes of smokiness than sweet purple yam.
Meals of the week comprise of takeout from Magic BBQ, Pork with Onions in Tomato Sauce over Rice, Baked Salmon and Choy Sum, and mini frozen pizzas for convenience.
Constructed in the latter half of the week was a Coffee Castella with Chantilly Cream.
Desires for a fluffy cake matched with airy whipped cream sent me in the direction of Sunday Baking's Taiwanese Castella recipe. Its texture was advertised similar to sponge, though the procedure was more forgiving. The low-and-slow baking process entailed minimal effort from my part and, furthermore, enabled dashes to the computer and unexpected requests. Swapping oil for melted butter and incorporating several tablespoons of Nescafe Gold into the batter at the egg yolk stage, the cake resulted a little denser than I would have liked. Nonetheless, it was delicious. Although a bit firm at first touch, the texture had not been comprised: air pockets were largely uniform in size and the cake emitted a light bounce when subject to pressure.
Who Am I?
Formerly an avid owner of several interest-based portals, Random Thoughts of a Quirky Blogger presents precisely the elements expected. From experiments in the kitchen to miscellaneous musings, from IGOT7 reflections to developments in transportation infrastructure, it's all consolidated here. Welcome to the raw, unfiltered side of Quirky Aesthetics.