Friday, July 25, 2014

After-Work Priorities of a Single 27-year Old Geek S02E03

After almost three years of enjoying the night shift, I was transferred to the morning shift.  As bosses often like to do.  They "shake things up", somewhat.  And having the controlling mindset that I cannot seem to hand over my station to anyone due to the belief that they can never keep it the running the way I did, I was in for some serious brain damage.  Oh, also some physical damage, sure.

I was never a morning person.  I had quite established that some 18 or so years ago when I was in third grade and I slept way later than anybody else in class, or in the house.  Which had me developing dark circles under my eyes very early in my life.  And this habit just seemed to have gotten worse as the years went by.  I was just not cut out for breakfast food.  

The main problem with the morning shift was that, I always felt sleepy after the shift was done.  I could not do what I ought to be doing (like, yoga, or other productive stuff) because I dozed off just as I would be resting right after work.  Then I would wake up in the middle of the night and do geeky stuff as I had always done in the middle of the night for ten years: go to forums, read manga, and watch rom-coms.  I had tried controlling this geeky habit for the benefit of my health, as my sleep had dwindled down to four hours a day.  However, I came to the point where, in my obsession for "trying", I ended up having to blame other people for my lack of sleep entirely.  I came to the point where, catching up to my manga and Korean dramas that I had supposedly missed out on for a few days became more important than talking to my fiance.  I came to the point where I ignored his calls completely, and even got annoyed if he wanted to talk to me yet I was still in the middle of my geeking.  "I have three more chapters to read, come on!" or "This episode takes an hour to watch and talking to you will take time off my sleep, what the eff!"

I was taking my day off from work a little slow, and watched a few dozen episodes of a drama that I had already watched three times*.  I wanted to finish everything before I moved on to more important chores like, well, working out and doing the groceries.  Which I perfectly calculated, mind you.  I finished the entire thing with two hours to spare- so then I had one hour for yoga and one for groceries.  Then sleep.  I laid out my yoga mat then the phone rang.  Dammit.  Now as a fiance I was obligated to answer calls, somewhat.  Particularly so if I had lied about going to sleep last night when all I did was marathoning a show.  I lied so I could get uninterrupted viewing pleasure.  It was that simple.  No cheating on other guys or anything.  I just wanted to watch my show.  

Yes I had degraded to a place where I held my otaku stuff to be more important than the person I was going to marry.  Oh my god.  I thought maybe this was just a phase of adjustment yet again, especially because of the morning shift situation.  I thought, how was I going to be a mom, nay, a wife, at this point in my life?  I felt sorry and rightfully told my fiance so.  And I felt even worse when he accepted the whole thing as if it was some news of terminal illness.  He said, "well, you better get your ass on yoga and groceries like you said then.  I won't talk to you today unless you feel like it, and do what you have to do until you find your rhythm."  I was a bad person, and he was being a saint.  Guys like this, you don't want to let go of.  So I thanked him for understanding, hung up, and did some bad-ass yoga like I promised.  And now I'm going to sleep because I need to wake up tomorrow while the moon is still up.  Save me from my morning shi(f)t.

*The King 2 Hearts (2012) starring Lee Seung Gi and Ha Ji Won

Friday, July 18, 2014

You Are All Surrounded with Lee Seung Gi

This is not a review of the recently concluded show You Are All Surrounded.  Technically.  This is just me fangirling on Lee Seung Gi.  I agree pretty much with what Dramabeans said about the show.  Dilly-dally here, dilly-dally there, could have helped if there was much more development elsewhere, etc.  But this is me fangirling on Lee Seung Gi.  So here we go.

I had the clue that Lee Seung Gi would take on a different role before his hiatus because of military service.  He always had the bratty, "young master" role.  Spoiled, always getting his way, cruel to women, jerk.  He probably wanted those roles because in reality TV (which is quite different from reality, of.course.  As I ought to believe) he's always the sweet nice guy who respects everybody.  Still, I wished he would break away from his mold- always a no-good guy who comes around and changes for the better in the end.  He plays that role well, and I don't really mind but it would have been really refreshing to see him trying something new.

When I read about the premise of You Are All Surrounded:
The police comedy is about a group of rookie detectives, starring Lee Seung-gi as the sharp but assy hero whose careless words tend to hurt those around him.
I thought, ah.  Still the same asshole role I would assume.  As the show aired though, I was surprised to find his character to be different this time around.  This was his most angsty, brooding, and complex role, with so many back stories to support his troubled past that was always absent in his previous dramas.  He was usually just the simple guy who was just an ass because he was brought up that way.  Period.  So to see him being the silent kill-joy guy, the guy who kicks and screams in frustration when nobody is there for him, the guy who can't trust anybody because he has so many secrets, was very interesting to me.

Oh and because I'm fangirling, can I just mention that this is the most abs I've seen from Lee Seung Gi?  He's an actor I always found to be conservative, and held out a lot in showing skin, even with a camera on him on reality TV for five years.  I guess, when you're going away for two years (destination: army), you have to leave the abs image for the ladies to remember you by.

Hmm, kisses.

Chemistry-wise, I'd say Lee Seung Gi always has good chemistry with his leading ladies in dramas.  Despite having a girlfriend made public (akdjfdklfajeidaoif) early this year, he acted well enough with Go Ara in terms of skinship in this show.  But well, if I had to compare- most memorable kisses would probably go to Suzy and Ha Ji Won.

Suzy and Seung Gi in Gu Family Book

Ha Ji Won and Seung Gi in King 2 Hearts

Whenever Seung Gi kissed Go Ara I would always think about his reservations having a celebrity girlfriend.  And I would think if Go Ara also held back because of said girlfriend, lol.  I guess it's just work after all.  Besides, the reason why Go Ara and Seung Gi probably didn't have too many steamy scenes was because of how the show was written.  They had a very natural, supportive kind of romance and you can't blame Uh Soo Sun, Go Ara's character, for just being the quiet girl who has brooding guy's back.  Seung Gi's leading ladies often had strong personalities who rivaled his spot in the limelight when it came to his dramas.  This time however, Go Ara remained a supporting character all through out the show.  The one who took her spot was of course, Legendary Detective Seo Pan Suk, played by Cha Seung Won. 

So let's move on from Go Ara to this guy.  I've never seen any of Cha Seung Won's dramas, but from what I've read, he's pretty interesting himself.  And seeing him act in You Are All Surrounded leaves me quite curious as to his other roles in his other shows that I've read great reviews of.  And I could write about his acting in this drama too, which was great, but you can read from other websites.  I don't want to get too far off from Lee Seung Gi.

This was how my monitor looked like back in the day when the first season of Noonas Over Flowers was airing.  Noonas Over Flowers was a show about four middle-aged actresses ranging from ages 40-60 going on a backpacking trip, and to make things even more exciting they added Lee Seung Gi, the "nation's (Korea) younger brother/ nation's mother's friend's son you never want to be compared to" haha.  And of course to the right I'm watching Lee Seung Gi on 1N2D, the show that immortalized him into reality TV for years.  

Give me moar before you head off for the army, Seung Gi ya!  I'm actually wishing for another season of Noonas Over Flowers before having to cut off from him for two years.  Oh Korean TV, what will happen with Lee Seung Gi gone?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Kitchen Confidential S03E03: One After the Other

I have a blue-collar job.  I work behind the scenes, most of the time.  And so it came to be that in all the years I had worked, I had minimal contact with guests.  I liked it that way because guests were kind of like, kids.  They were necessary for the propagation of humanity- in this case, the business, but that they could get on your nerves and you want to kick them just to shut them up.  My charm skills were put to the test when for the past three weeks I was stationed at the buffet.  Like, at the buffet: smiling, handing things to people because they were too lazy to get it themselves, answering questions and making up answers.  That kind of station.  Surprisingly I enjoyed talking to people.  And I liked going the extra mile.  I loved it when people thanked me because I gave them special treatment.  And don't get me wrong, I loved giving special treatments.  I loved giving everybody VIP status.  It was as if you struck lucky at finding nice people who smiled back, or curious guests willing to listen to how you made that dish.  It was also as if you were lucky, the bad kind of lucky, if you ran into a guest, the shitty kind.

As if the verbal reprimand was not enough regarding the goddang salmon, I knew I was in for it the next day when all the bosses lined up to share the news.  My agony just got extended another day because big bosses didn't go to work on Sundays.  You know, boss rights and all.  

Tonight, a memo arrived forewarning the kitchen of a "delicate" guest.  

EDIT: Well, I was in the middle of wanting to tell the story of said guest regarding her know-it-all-ness of the Caesar dressing but I was apparently too drained of energy I dozed on my laptop.  Then I woke up and I'm not in the mood anymore.

Let's just end it at that.  A shitty week, that totally deserved me a massage but I got to sleep in an awkward position instead and the massage place had already closed.  Add the stress of my phone being slammed to the hard kitchen floor cracking into pieces.  I had it repaired and it's working 50% of the time.  The other 50% it exists to annoy me when it stops functioning right at the height of my rant as I tell my boyfriend about this shitty week.  So no, nobody else knows about this goddang story because I was supposed to share it to get it off my system but every single time I get interrupted.  

I wonder if it's just one of those days.  Or, the start of those days?  Tunununun.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Kitchen Confidential S03E02: The Difficult Guest

I've been in this industry for five years.  Six, if you include my days in culinary school.  Though I'm a bit young in the industry, I'm no newbie.  I know some ins and outs that the lay person doesn't.  So when I eat out and ask for a steak to be medium and they give me rare, I don't throw a fit but I say "excuse me, can you cook it a bit more?".  This actually happened to me, and the waiter came back with the same rare steak, saying that that's how they cook medium.  I said, "look, I don't care if you call that well-done or raw.  I just wanted it cooked more."  Was my request so hard to understand?  Was it not possible for the kitchen to pop it in the oven for another five minutes?

I ordered pizza -the kind where they have everything on it.  I loved pineapple on pizza but they ran out of pineapple that day.  I wasn't mad.  But I asked if they could replace it with something else, say, double on mushrooms or something.  They wouldn't allow it.  This made me think, why would I be paying full for something that's lacking?  I could understand that they ran out of pineapple but they could offer me an alternative, right?  So I told them "I get it.  You don't have pineapple, so you can't put pineapple on my pizza.  Will you be adjusting the price?"  See, if they had pineapple as a standard on that menu, and I requested them not to put any, that was a different story.  I'd pay full price despite having no pineapple because I didn't want it.  It was my preference to waive that end of the bargain.  But if they ran out of pineapple, would not replace it with any other item, and still expect me to pay the full price, that was the time I thought I ought to speak to the manager.  Because I knew, being in the industry for four years, that the manager might have rights to adjust the price.  Not because I was being nasty, but because I knew that the manager might have a solution.

Today at work, I was lucky enough to land on a douchebag of a customer.  I gave my very last piece of salmon sashimi to a lady.  Douche comes up, sees the lady with the salmon and asks if he could have one.  I told him that was the last piece.  He tells me a buffet shouldn't run out of anything, immediately asks for my name, and tells me he'll look for the manager.  I told him I'd double-check the kitchen to oblige him with the request and to my great demise, there was really none.  

He asked me the names of the sushi rolls.  I told them they didn't have names.  I did not say I did not know what was in them.  I said they didn't have names.  Because we just made them up.  Whatever they were.  He was such a douche, really.  He later told his dad, who supposedly knew all the people in all the high places, who came up to me to give me a nagging about the salmon running out.  I really didn't give a fuck, because even if he threw a fit, no salmon sashimi would magically fall from the sky.  No salmon could be squeezed from the bowels of the hotel.  I did tell him we had tuna, and that we had salmon but it was smoked and if he could gladly have that, but he continued with saying he'd email Mr. X, and tell Boss Y, etc.  

A tip:  so what, you know the president.  Have him ship me some salmon.  It would really be nice if he gave me some.  Because if we had any, we wouldn't be dealing with you.  

I actually reflected on this incident (report- yes, it reached all the high places he wanted it to reach, and it came back to me to kick me in the ass, via verbal reprimand- and there'll be worse things to come when bosses from even higher places get wind of it).  I put myself in the douche's shoes.  That was why I recalled the times when I was irate myself as a customer because they could not give me what I wanted.  I recalled if, I was reasonable in both those times.  Was I?  Was he?  Were they?  Since, you know, they're a dad and young master duo.  

Apparently all the other guys knew the dad as a difficult guest.  As I was walking home, I wondered about the word "difficult".  If, they as guests, knew they were difficult.  If, they would have liked it if they knew.  Or did they just think they had VIP treatment?  I was particularly nice to other people today, and made sure to give people the extra mile in service.  But the douche came and made things "difficult".  When it could have been so easy to please.  If he weren't such an asshole.  

Friday, July 4, 2014

Weekend Report 13: Do I Really Have To?

Sure it's awesome to cook for a living.  This week was perhaps a high in my job in that I was left alone to pretty much experiment and just play around, like I used to do back in the day.  So I'm not going into details about that.  Suffice to say that job-wise, the week was probably a bit more than okay.

Health-wise, I'd been obsessed with a sudden "condition" that I had.  And if I talked about it, it was as if I'd not be doing my part of letting go.  Of the obsession.  Because after some serious workout the night before, and waking up super hungry, I kind of skipped eating (for some circumstance I really didn't want to happen- trust me, I wanted to eat at the time, so bad).  The string of events bundled up into one big mess involving me almost fainting, having chills overnight, throwing up every single thing I put in my mouth, etc.  It was a bit inexplicable what happened, and the obsession began.  Of trying to solve the mystery, that for some annoying reason google couldn't answer.  

Well I'm over it.  I had resolved to just, redo my diet- the way normal people do it.  You know, like, cooking?  The main thing that f*cked up my system, I concluded after the entire week of obsessing over, was that I didn't want to cook anything at home.  Not even boiling water.  I ate, sure, but only when I was at work.  But for the first few hours of the day I would have nothing but juice, which was what was all that was in my fridge- because it was food that didn't require cooking, or opening of packets, or washing of utensils afterwards.  Man, that laziness that crept over me took over my entire body and screwed with my internal organs or something.  

So I spent the day buying "real" food, like, bread and stuff.  I mean, I have a perfectly working kitchen and tools to cook with so why not.  But the thought that runs through my head, do I really have to?  Prep?  Yeah well, I will try it.  It's not like it's a foreign thing to do.  And I always believed that nothing is better than making your own food, health-wise.  I still do.  Really.  Except I didn't like cooking for myself because I knew I'd eat it, you know?  No, you probably don't know but it's a thing I have.  As a disorder, probably.  But right now my usual life is being threatened so yes, I'll have to do it.  Eat "real" food at home.  

Wow, so many people in the world not having this luxury and I get to complain about it.  

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