Ten Commandments For Dog Owners

August 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

1. My life is likely to last 10 – 15 years. Any separation from you will be very painful.

2. Give me time to understand what you want from me. Do not break my spirit with your temper, though I will always forgive you. Your patience and understanding will teach me more quickly those things you want me to learn.

3. Have me spayed or neutered.

4. Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for your kindness than mine. Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t lock me up as punishment. After all, you have your job, your friends, your entertainment. I have only you.

5. Speak to me often. Even if I don’t understand all your words, I understand your voice when it’s speaking to me. Your voice is the sweetest sound I ever heard, as you must know by my enthusiatic excitment when your footsteps fall upon my waiting ear.

6. Please take me inside when it’s cold and wet. I’m a domestic animal and am no longer accustomed to the bitter elements. Keep my bowl filled with clean water; I cannot tell you when I’m thirty. Feed me good food so that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to be by your side and stand ready, willing and able to share with you my life, for that is what I live for. However you treat me, I’ll never forget it.

7. Don’t hit me. Remember, I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite you.

8. Before you scold me, for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food. I’ve been out in the sun too long, or my heart may be getting old and weak.

9. Take care of me when I get old. You will grow old too.

10. When I am very old, when I no longer enjoy good health, please do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I’m not having fun. Just see to it that my trusting life is taken gently. And be with me on that difficult journey when it’s time to say goodbye. Never say: “I can’t bear to watch.” Everything is easier for me when you are there. I will leave this earth knowing with my last breath that my fate was always safest in your hands. I love you.

I don’t even remember where I got this list, but I had it for four years now. I read it once a while to remind myself how lucky I’m to have my dog Taytay as my companion. He lives for me, and sometimes I forget that and take him for granted. So I’d like to share this list with all the dog owners out there. We’re very lucky.

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English Sundays

August 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

In my New York City home there is a sunday tradition – English breakfast.

I spent most of my teen life in Brighton, England, a beautiful seaside town where the pace of life was slow and it was nice to walk in the rain. I would have been an angry girl if I ended up in New York City back then, but being in Brighton made my teenage a mellow experience – listening to Suede and smoking on the grey stone beach between classes – my high school was ON the beach.

The whole four years were a blur, a very careless and content blur. And to celebrate that blur, I always made myself English breakfast on Sundays.

My English breakfast, or “fry up” as we call it since everything is cooked in one frying pan, usually includes:

Grilled tomato
Honey-Maple baked beans
Toast with Marmite* (Yes, I LOVE
MARMITE)
Eggs
Hash browns (I substitute with home fries at times)
Sausage/ham/bacon

Everything needs to be cooked in one pan, that’s the fun part.

I fried potato with a garlic/parsley/EVOO blend and some paprika. Salt and pepper.

Then I just put everything I can find in my fridge this morning into the pan. Honey-maple flavored baked beans, tomatoes and breakfast sausages. Not very original or authentic. A bad karma for missing my farmer’s market yesterday.:(

The lack of ingredients didn’t matter. It still made my Sunday morning. That girl who hurried into her school uniform and ran down the century-year old stone stairs so she wouldn’t miss her breakfast before chapel started is sitting right now in my Brooklyn apartment and enjoying the bliss.:)

Moonchipic

August 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

My favorite seasonal finds in farmer’s markets all around New York City.

August 25, 2010 § 3 Comments

Last weekend I went to my favorite Union Square market for some greens and fruits. Got a great recipe too!

A simple summer vegetable dish:

Sauté uncooked corn fresh cut off from the cob, add summer squash and green beans, sautéed until soft, salt and pepper to taste and some maple syrup. YUM!

Seasonal vegetable is the best treat you can have for yourself. No need for a lot of flavoring since they’re all full of flavors.

My favorite seasonal market finds:

Spring: Leeks, asparagus, artichokes, fave beans, fennel, spring onions

Summer: Heirloom tomatoes! Corn, peaches, fresh herbs, cucumbers, watermelon, squash, root vegetables

Autumn: Peppers, apples!, broccoli, kale and chard (more sweet, less bitter and sharp when harvested in the cooler temperatures of fall), eggplant, figs, green beans, grapes.

Winter: Cauliflowers (try pickle them!), clementines, winter squash, mushrooms.

The garlics they sell at Union Square farmer’s market is rather pricy, $1.50 per garlic…, but I’m a true believe of the power of garlic as the sole flavoring for a fresh vegetable dish. Not to buy supermarket garlic but buying them fresh is totally worth it. Have you seen all the juice coming out when you cut your garlic and the aroma immediately fills the room? I LOVE GARLIC!

I invested in some AMAZING white peaches. The bees got to it before I did. Just follow the bees and you’ll find the best peaches in the market!

**

After I signed the lease to my new apartment, Shawn took me out to dinner to An Nhau, one of my favorite restaurant on Bedford Ave – Williamsburg, one of NYC’s best dining street in my opinion. I always go there right after my yoga class. (Ironically their food is not exactly yogi lifestyle friendly lol, but I can’t help it)

I got my favorite, braised pork belly and egg in coconut jus and Shawn got caramelized pork belly. Yes we like our pork!

One another note, I’m EXCITED to be moving to Greenpoint/Williamsburg (I wanna just call it Greenpoint, but apparently it’s a little south of Greenpoint and too close to Williamsburg to be just Greenpoint!) It’s a beautiful apartment on a quiet treeline block, with a 24 hour organic market, a meat market, a bakery and a laundromat all on the same block! What else could a new york city girl ask for?! 😀

Girl, dragon tattoo, sex, murder and a very cold place.

August 25, 2010 § 1 Comment

Things are always more dramatic in a very cold place. This is one thing I learned in film school. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is over all a decent movie, considering all the MANY not so decent thrillers I had the unfortunate pleasure to see in the past few years. It reminded me of Let the Right One In. Not nearly as amazing, but gives you a few wows and ewws.

The film is about (I hate this part, so I’ll keep it short), Mikael, a journalist whose career comes to an end because of a libel case teams up with Lisbeth, a socially closed young hacker who is sexually abused by her guardian, to solve a 40-year old disappearance/murder case.

In my opinion the best things about the film is:

1. Lisbeth’s relationship with Mikael. It’s classic. He is a gentle giant and she is a damaged child. He is the father and love she never had. And yet in a way, he is very feminine and she is masculine which makes them more interesting to watch than the classic romantic pairings. You kinda want to root for them to get together in the misty of all the gruesome murders.

2. The reveal of the story. I haven’t read the book, but the movie does a good job to do what most of the movies fail to do these days, which is to give the audience minimum information at first and then slowly reveal more to us. Most of the movies these days think the audiences are idiots or they just have no faith in us and afraid that we won’t get it therefore explains everything. The first 30 mins of the film is like peeling open a long-waited gift, layer after layer, very satisfying and makes me work my brain instead just sitting there to be told what’s going on (aka Inception. Sorry.).

3. The cinematography is great, like most european thriller films are. The editing is clean, very few unnecessary coverage and fast cuts a lot of thriller HAVE to do to make up for the lack of a GOOD STORY…  I enjoyed Niels Arden Oplev’s directorial style and looking forward to more from him. His 2006 film We Shall Overcome is sure in a different genre which I’m interested to see, it’s a drama about a boy who’s inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and challenges repressive school authority in 1969 Denmark. Hmmm… NICE.

The film does have its flaws. The last 10 minutes are the worst, made me feel like I was sitting in a bad Hollywood flick. I won’t say why to spoil anything. But since it’s worth to watch the first however minutes, go see it anyway! It sure took home enough audience awards to guarantee entertainment, in this case, tasteful entertainment.

Overall I give it 7/10. I’m tough.

Films you may also like: Let the Right One In; Tell No One; A Prophet (!!!)

LOVE

August 25, 2010 § 1 Comment

Story Corps is an amazing place for inspiration and tearjerkers. Their newest animation made me cry this morning.

Danny & Annie

DIY cat toys/houses/everything

August 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

Few weeks ago I had my poor but efficient attempt to make Moonchi a house with my cooking knife, see pic below. In less than few hours, Moonchi already broke a window since she is more interested to climb through the windows of her Moonchiville than using the door…

So I’ve decided to consult the professionals, the DIY project from moderncat is a great resource for DIY cat goodies. I’ll be trying them out.