July 30, 2014
There are things I find myself doing over and over again when I travel.
One is to pretend to pass off as a local.
So no maps, I only use Google maps on my phone. I walk with confidence, somehow implying I know where I’m heading to — even when I’m completely lost.
Yes, I might have a back-pack on my shoulders, but that’s because I carry a laptop and a couple of books. I have stuff to do in this city, you know?
The Yankees baseball cap I’m wearing? It’s a fashion thing.
And I’m aiming a camera and taking a gazillion pictures of things that a gazillion other people have taken a gazillion photos of, because I’m a postcard photographer, alright?
I.Am.Not.A.Tourist. Don’t you dare call me that!
July 28, 2014
"My experience in Amsterdam is that cyclists ride where the hell they like
and aim in a state of rage at all pedestrians while ringing their bell loudly,
the concept of avoiding people being foreign to them."
For those who have visited Amsterdam, one thing probably struck you, like it did me (though I had heard all this before, seeing it is a whole other thing). The Dutch love riding bicycles — called ‘fietsen’, pronounced FEETS-un.
They ride them everywhere and often, whether rain or shine.
The city is filled with bike lanes too, so cars, trams, buses AND bikes can all share the road together.
Except that cars and traffic are the ones who yield and show care to bikes.
It’s amazing to come to an intersection on your bike and have the cars let you go even if they have the traffic light.
A shrill ‘brrriiingg’ of the bell, and you will have people leaping out of your way as you buzz past.
July 24, 2014
Friesland! What a place.
I spent three days exploring the splendor of this Northern region of The Netherlands and it has been a fantastic experience.
As you may remember, I stayed at my sister’s mother-in-law’s house.
I have to figure out how to explain that Gerbrich (i.e., my sister's mother-in-law) is just a part of my extended family at this point. I know it may sounds awkward because most people don't know their siblings' in-laws; but to me, Gerbrich feels like family.
Can I just say? What a doll.
July 21, 2014
Hey guys, I'm in Holland!
How cool is that?
I haven’t took any photos yet because, well, I got in last night.
But don’t worry, I'll show you so many pictures, you'll ask me to stop.
Today we’ll drive north, to Frisland, where we’ll visit my sister’s in-laws for a couple of days.
She said it’s worth going because it’s a beautiful place rich with natural beauty.
Old windmills, typical farmhouses, a vast system of canals and waterways, woods, dunes, marshes, and acres and acres and acres of crop fields and pastures.
Frisland is also home to the frisland cattle, a black and white sturdy and stocky cattle.
The cattles graze on fresh green pastures daily during the growing season and are given hay in the winter months. That’s it, no junk.
It doesn’t get more grass-fed, pastured, organic, GMO-free, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, than that.
Amazing dairy products, juicy meat. Yum!
July 18, 2014
My man Chris over at Shared Appetite, erupts with ideas like Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Pinatubo or the ever famous Mt. Eyjafjallajökull, erupt with lava and ash.
[Especially the latter to be honest. When I think of Chris bursting with ideas for some reason my mind travels to Mt. Eyjafjallajökull. Just like that.]
No but for real, Chris does a million things. He’s a teacher, a blogger, a cook and recently he even opened his very own photography studio (Ashe Photography Studio). He’s cool, that’s why he’s in my wolf pack.
About a month ago, he ran the idea of doing a Chopped Cooking Challenge (bloggers edition) by David at Spiced Blog, Sean at Snack Fixation and myself.
He even created a super cheesy cool graphic to convince us to participate.
July 16, 2014
“Nice” is a treacherous word.
I actually can’t think of any other word that expresses contentment and acceptance while also harboring subterranean shades of doubt and pessimism.
Let’s make some examples.
Introduce a significant other to your family, and ask your parents afterward what they thought, if they respond “Oh, she is nice”, then they didn’t like her, at all. I talk from experience.
Nice is what you say when you’re skeptical and hesitant but you don’t want to offend.
Let’s take a different scenario.
Say your girlfriend bought a new dress that she is wearing to your date tonight. She spent the last hour or so in the bathroom getting ready — and by the way, women of the world: What’s going on in the bathroom? 60 minutes or more to get prepped? Really?
Anyway, she is really proud of the dress and she feels like a model. When she asks “How do I look?” you enthusiastically answer “You look nice!”
Ouch! You’d better run for your life buddy. You have just released the KRAKEN and you'll not get out of there alive. I want you to know that, I talk from experience (again!)
July 14, 2014
The internet is still a pretty new phenomenon. Many people did not grow up with it. We are still learning how it works and what it means.
It allows anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection the ability to share their views and opinions with a large number of people quickly and inexpensively. It allows people to connect quickly with others who share their opinions all over the world.
Take this blog for example; my intention is to share what's going on in my kitchen and sometimes what's in my head (um, because why wouldn't you want to know it?)
Since I consider myself a healthy individual - who eats right and exercises - I like to think that the food I cook is actually pretty healthy.
Still, I'm far from thinking I know what's the best way to do anything or that I have all the answers.
First off, because I know that what’s healthy for me might not be healthy or even possible for someone else. Furthermore, because I hate to pontificate, pronounce, proscribe and to be considered a food extremist.
I don’t feel the need to go around on forums, other blogs comment sections or social networks, trying to be the healthy-eating police. Telling people what and how they should eat, because I know better.
I do not fantasize that 100000s of people are spellbound by my every word and I can elevate myself to a world-class expert.
July 11, 2014
Part of me likes getting grumpy at the gym because it fuels a better workout. But what really happens is that I just put my ipod in, blast my own music, tune out and on focus do what I have to do.
For real, I’m not mad. I’m just concentrating.
I might have music in my ears, but I’m just rocking a playlist, not creating an invisible shield that says “Don’t talk to me!”
If you ever smile at me and say “Hi”, I will smile and say “Hi” back. I promise.
July 9, 2014
Can ice cream save the world?
I think so.
Here are some facts to prove it.
For starters, have you ever seen a angry person eating ice cream? Of course not — unless it’s bad ice-cream.
When you dig into a scoop of good ice-cream, it's just impossible to be angry.
Ice-cream means joy, pleasure and contentment.
Whining kids? Just plug in the home ice-cream maker and turn all squabbles into a hug fest. Just imagine what would happened if ice-cream was served during Congress hearings. No more contentious public battles; only bargain and compromise. Politicians for sure wouldn’t be able to talk so much with their mouths full of ice-cream.
No more filibusters. Just a needed break to run to bathroom to (try to) remove ice-cream stains from their power suits.
Perhaps ice-cream might be the solution to end all world problems.
OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a tad, but there’s really a lot of awesomeness in ice-cream.
July 7, 2014
Guys, I’m trying to grow an avocado tree from a seed.
I’m super pumped about it.
The other day, I ate an avocado, washed the pit and suspended the broad end down over a water-filled glass - using toothpicks. Put in a warm place out of direct sunlight. As per instructions.
I’m now waiting for the roots and stem sprout.
There’s a problem though, I'm horrible with plants. Seriously challenged.
Outdoor plants, indoor plants, annuals, perennials. I kill them off in record time.
July 4, 2014
Happy 4th of July folks!
I hope you’re having a safe and wonderful weekend.
The weather pretty much sucks here today, but my thoughts go to the people affected by hurricane Arthur in North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland.
Having to deal with a hurricane on a national holiday is one of the worst things that can happen. Instead of having a cookout, going to the beach or shooting fireworks with your loved ones, one has to take cover. And God only knows what a hurricane leaves behind.
I mean, seriously Arthur?
Don’t you have better things to do than being royal a pain in the neck?
July 2, 2014
“Hip like a donkey” (that’s how I’ve named it) is no longer what it used to be. Sad.
I’ve been nurturing this indie-folk station for years. I have upvoted and downvoted songs. Added variety — Pixies, Fleet Foxes, Deer Tick, Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, Lumineers; they’re are all there.
I really put some effort and took care of it like it was my dog or baby.
But over the last month or so, “Hip like a donkey” has been slowly becoming more and more rigid.
It doesn’t play any new song and I keep hearing the same tracks over and over.
The worst part is that they’re not even from current indie/folk artists.
It plays The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Animals. Great bands (arguably some of the greatest bands of all time) but where’s my Mumford&Sons or my Deer Tick? Arghhh!