Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I was in an unusually good mood when I left work today. I have a cold, had to stay late and STILL didn't get all of my work finished, and had more than one reason to be crabby, but for some reason, I wasn't. Because of this good mood, I stopped for some teenagers to jaywalk downtown... I think part of it was the good mood, and part of it was because they were waiting politely rather than just blasting into traffic.

Anyway, I thought I recognized one of the students, so I said his name out of the window of my car, but then decided I was wrong; it wasn't who I thought it was. A moment later, after I had parked in the parking garage, there he was, standing outside waiting for me. "You were right, it was me... so I figured I'd better come and find out who was saying my name!" I re-introduced myself, and once he remembered who I was, he gave me a big hug and I said I'd walk him to his next destination as we chatted.

I was his counselor almost ten years ago. He had been referred to me after he witnessed a terrible event that left him parentless. He struggled a little in school, but was always such a nice and lovable little kid. A Now, he is a senior in high school, and is looking at colleges he wants to go to next year. He has a nice group of friends, a nice variety of after school activities, and he seems well spoken, sociable, and is as kind as always.

I was just thrilled that he is living a nice life. I was also secretly pleased that he remembered me, and that he was willing to share a little bit about how his life has been going. I hope I run into him again someday; I would love to see him in another ten years and see how he's doing. Here's hoping he crosses the road in front of me one day, when I'm in another good mood!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Fruit Bento

Fruit Bento 9-6-11 by BrickMillStudio
Fruit Bento 9-6-11, a photo by BrickMillStudio on Flickr.

(Click on photo for uncropped version)

Tomorrow's lunch is a major departure from the one I had packed for today... rather than traditional Korean foods, I packed various fresh fruits, some pita slices, cheese, yogurt, and a little quail egg.

In case you were curious, a quail egg is about 1/4 the size of a chicken egg, but tastes the same.

I enjoyed eating my fancy Bento lunch today, but interestingly, I found it to be a bit too much food, and will think about using a smaller container for heavy, meaty meals in the future... but for the fruit plate, I think a bigger container will be fine, as there are a lot fewer calories!

Monday, September 05, 2011

(click on the photo to see an un-awkwardly cropped version)

I love learning new things. This past summer, I took a bartending course, because I've always wanted to. Actually tending a bar for money sounds hellish to me... standing on your feet for hours and hours, dealing with drunk people, trying to remember drinks, ruining your shoes from all that sticky liquor dripping onto them (or so I would imagine), loud environment, late, late hours... but I'm getting away from the point. I really enjoyed learning how to do a counted pour, how to mix drinks, and it was fun to meet new people.

The latest thing I became interested in learning about was how to create a Bento Box meal. I have only ever eaten such meals at Korean or Japanese restaurants, but recently saw cute pictures of Bento style meals online. So, I decided I needed to try it for myself!

I didn't want to invest in any fancy boxes or materials quite yet, in case I didn't really enjoy making or eating meals in this way. I did, however, go to HMart, a giant Korean grocery store in Burlington, to get a few interesting ingredients.

I bought some ready - made items, such as the Korean omelet, Kimchi, spicy anchovies, and marinated (uncooked) chicken. I also cooked up some millet and some brussels sprouts.

I then read up on how to pack the food into a bento box, and tried to make mine look okay. I think it's all right for a first try, but I will try to plan ahead better for more colorful meals and try to get better at packing things neatly.

I don't have the cutesy rice balls with faces, or interestingly molded hard boiled eggs... but I do think it makes the meal look pretty interesting! What do you think?