Karo Dreams of Noodles

It’s been a bizarre couple of weeks. First there was the week before last, which produced the worst Wednesday I’ve ever had. Then there was last week, which was generally all right but contained an unpleasant surprise. Then there was this week, which actually was fairly normal but also made me dream about two equally delicious bowls of noodle soup with two different kinds of noodles sitting right in front of me omg why did I have to wake up from that WHYYYYY WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY 😭😭😭

Also I was sitting at my desk this afternoon completely minding my own business when I was suddenly ambushed by the realization that I don’t always remember to draw my tail? Like I thought about it for like five seconds and then completely forgot about it in the pic right above this paragraph? I have literally no idea what’s wrong with my brain sometimes #headdesk (On a brighter note, I’ve been reading about a mythical thing called a Milk Tray for years because it pops up every few months in Bridget Jones’s Diary and today I finally got to actually try a Milk Tray because my boss brought one to work to share with the design team and I am now a fan because chocolate is LIFE. And also I think I might’ve just definitively outed myself as an American, in case that wasn’t obvious already.)

Anyway. I could dwell all day on the many many dream noodle soup bowls I haven’t been allowed to eat but I don’t want to talk about it, so I thought I’d do a quick(ish) post on something happier:

I got a new car! (Translation: I am leasing a new car because I can’t buy one outright.) About three months ago I drove my ailing first car to Williamsburg instead of asking one of my friends to drive because, I don’t know, I’m crazy. She started smelling like gas on the way down, she smelled like gas while we were putt-putting around Williamsburg, and she smelled like gas the whole way back. She spent some time with my mechanic when we finally got home, and after about a week he told me I was looking at a bill of at least $1,500 – $1,800 to fix everything that was wrong with her, and that she was so old that it wasn’t worth the cost of repairing her. In the end he made her drivable again for a much lower cost and warned me not to take her on the highway, and she limped along for another month before I finally got over the whole I WILL NEVER ABANDON MY PRECIOUS BABY thing and realized I didn’t actually feel safe driving her.

Rest in peace, Veloce. You were the best little car I could ever have asked for. You stuck with me through two years of college, three years of grad school, four apartments, fourteen jobs, and a lot of violin lessons, and ferried me and my friends to all kinds of places both in and out of Maryland. I don’t know what Honda has done with you, but I’d like to think they fixed you up and placed you with a nice owner who’ll be less demanding than I was. I knew I couldn’t keep you forever, but I still miss you. 💔

On that note, it wasn’t exactly a straight path to the new car, (1) because I historically don’t do well with big changes, (2) because Veloce was the first car and quite frankly the only one I ever wanted to drive, and (3) because I was 99.99999999% convinced that I didn’t have the money to get another car. It also didn’t help that I was so accustomed to Veloce that there always seemed to be something wrong with the other cars I’ve driven over the years: The pedals were too loose. The cars felt too heavy. (Yes, that is literally A Thing with me.) The dashboard bulked weirdly behind the steering wheel and blocked my view. (That one felt slightly more legit. I am not a large person.) Between the time I took my little car to the mechanic and the time I finally said goodbye to her forever, there was a brief adventure with a rented Hyundai named Samwise, who was heavy but worked well, and about a month of window-shopping, procrastination, and denial. During the window-shopping phase I visited CarMax and FitzMall and drove a few of their cars around, but balked at both the expense and the strangeness of the different cars and ended up ghosting the sales reps because me and my little car were going to be together forever and ever and EVER. By the time I finally stumbled into the Honda dealership at the end of August, I knew I was never going to find another car I liked and I was going to be driving Veloce until her floor dropped out and she turned into a four-wheel land raft.

Then the salesman brought out Hector.

I was looking for either a Civic or a Fit, so we test drove both. In the end the Civic won because it was small enough to suit me (albeit not as small as Veloce, but nobody’s perfect) but still more powerful than the Fit, which felt like a golf cart. For anybody wondering why he’s named Hector, it’s because of this handsome SOB:

Full disclosure: I asked for a blue car because I was already thinking I wanted a blue Civic so I could name him Hector the Honda and I already knew the color was called Aegean Blue and Eric Bana is, like, the perfect Hector and the car matches the blue dresses the Trojans wear in the movie and it seemed like fate so yeah I’ve been driving Prince Hector of Troy around for almost two months now and oh gawd I know you’re judging me.

Even fuller disclosure: I usually call him Hector. Or Heck. He only gets the full title when he’s doing something naughty, like letting the rubber lining on his back passenger door flap loose. Ahem, Prince Hector.

I somehow got paired with an incredibly patient salesman, which was very lucky because I’m pretty sure I came across as borderline neurotic (read: basket case). I wasn’t originally planning to lease a car that day, given that I was still pretty stuck on my old car, but they kept lowering the price so after a few rounds I caved, handed over Veloce, and drove home with Hector. The only thing is that the change from Veloce to Hector was very abrupt, and I wish I could’ve had more time to process everything and say goodbye. If I’d known that the trip to the Honda dealer was going to be the last time I’d ever drive Veloce, I would’ve paid more attention. I was about five seconds away from becoming that weirdo who hugs their car in a public parking lot.

Some good things about Prince Hector because I’m still not sure that I did the right thing:

  • He’s goooooorgeous. I’m used to a very neutral-colored car, but I looooove the Aegean Blue. He also has little white racing stripes, which are pretty cute.
  • He has four doors!!! This is actually huge because I’m the self-proclaimed designated driver in my group, and, while I haven’t taken full advantage of these yet, it’ll be lovely to drive my friends around without having to stuff them into the backseat through the passenger’s door.
  • He’s got a huge trunk. I kinda wanna go on another road trip.
  • He doesn’t smell like gas. I’m also not constantly wondering if his bottom is going to drop out or if I should turn off his AC before he, you know, explodes or something.
  • HE HAS A STRAIGHT-UP USB PORT. I CAN LITERALLY PLUG MY IPOD STRAIGHT INTO HIM AND HE’LL CHARGE IT FOR ME WHILE PLAYING LOVELY MUSIC.
  • His parking brake is funny. I’m actually not sure how I feel about this one because his parking brake is this little switch instead of a lever but I’ve gotten used to it, so I guess we’re good?

The Not-So-Good Things

I wasn’t joking about that passenger door rubber liner thing and I’m going to have to take him back to the Honda dealer TRAGEDYYYYYYYY but I keep forgetting to set up an appointment 🙁 If I don’t come back in a week with photographic evidence that I’ve gotten my door fixed, leave me a comment telling me I’m bringing shame on my ancestors.

Karo is a Peasant

It all started with Getty Images. I was shopping through Colonial Williamsburg stock photos for a work project and completely minding my own business when I started to think, These are really nice photos. Never mind that the last time I went to Williamsburg I was in fifth grade and Completely UninterestedTM in American history. I hope the Williamsburg marketing team is happy, because their photos work. Fast-forward a few minutes and These are really nice photos turned into I want to go to Williamsburg, which turned into I bet I can drag my friends to Williamsburg. Four months later, I packed my friends and their suitcases into my little car and drove us down to Williamsburg during a weekend so hot that the weather people were literally telling everyone to barricade themselves in their houses. This turned out to be the last straw for my poor little car, which had been ailing for some time and started smelling like gas on the way down. That’s what I get for dragging a 17-year-old car on a road trip in 115° weather I’m sorry babyyyyyyy 😭

Anyway, my friends have better sense than I do, so instead of the two-day Williamsburg tour we’d planned we spent most of our time at our resort. Full disclosure: until July, I’d never set foot in a resort and in fact kind of assumed that resorts were built for snooty people who hung around pools all day and could afford to pay $10000000 per night and oh gawd I was wrong it was delightful and I have literally no idea what I’ve been doing with my life and also I probably drank way more pink lemonade than was good for me 😬

Yes, I really did buy one of those pretty straw hats. Picspam and full(ish) itinerary behind the cut, because I do have some decency.

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Pad See Ew

Two weeks ago I said The Handmaid’s Tale had gone off the rails. Today I’m saying I’ve gotten back on the train.

I have no idea how long this’ll last given the general bumpiness of the season BUT AFTER EPISODE 10 I’M BACK ONBOARD AT LEAST TEMPORARILY CUS MUFFINS MEAN YES BITCHESSSSSSSS

I cried. 😭😂 (also why did they stop putting up sneak peek videos HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO JUDGE THE NEXT EPISODE WITHOUT A TRAILER HULU ASD;JKFIHDGPFGH /flails)

Anyway.

All of this is tangential to the point of the post, which is that I’ve finally conquered rice noodles. The first time I tried to cook dried rice noodles I was very very new to the noodle game, which means that what eventually came out of my wok was a solid mass of noodle-shaped objects. It was like chewing a carpet. Cue three- to five-year montage of me rolling around on the floor feeling sorry for myself and refusing to touch dried noodles nope never again not ever.

Welp, this year I discovered Rasa Malaysia’s pad see ew recipe and the S.S. “I’M NEVER COOKING RICE NOODLES AGAIN I AM NOT DESTINED FOR GREATNESS” sprang a massive leak, and now I’m sitting here telling you that if you’re in a little pity party boat of your own there is still hope because if I can learn to cook dried rice noodles without turning them into the world’s cheapest carpet then so can you. And now, if you’ve made it to the end of that run-on sentence without getting lost, here’s a couple of pics.

Obviously I had a lot of faith in myself. In this case I didn’t need to worry because it finally occurred to me to, you know, maybe watch a YouTube tutorial instead of relying on the comical English on the back of the noodles package. The package claimed the noodles would be ready to cook after soaking for 30 minutes, but therein lay my downfall three to five years ago. Here’s what actually worked:

  1. Soak the noodles for 30 minutes.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. You’ll want enough water to submerge your noodles. When the water is boiling, add a little cooking oil to keep the noodles from sticking to each other.
  3. When the noodles are done soaking, boil them for one to two minutes, then drain them and zap them with cold water. This keeps the sneaky bastards from overcooking themselves.
  4. Add the noodles to whatever you’re cooking. INSTANT PROFIT.
  5. New tip that I just learned three hours ago: Boil the noodles literally one or two minutes before you need them. If they sit in the colander too long they clump together and are very hard to separate.
  6. If you’re like me and you leave them in the colander too long, add more oil while you’re stir-frying them and try to loosen them up with whatever utensils you have on hand (preferably cooking chopsticks). Yes, this works. Sort of. Look, the noodles were still edible, okay?
  7. Extra credit: Try Rasa Malaysia’s recipe with pork belly instead of chicken.

Moral of the story: YouTube knows everything.

Awesome Con 2019

Don’t talk to me about season 8 also LITERALLY NOBODY BETTER COME FOR MY SWEET BABY I WILL MURDER THE FIRST PERSON WHO TRIES TO SPEAR HIM (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

In other news, I went to Awesome Con! I wasn’t planning to, but my friend Heather was curious and neither of us had ever been to a con, so we went together.

I’m glad we went but holy shit there was so much stuff x___x The pic only shows like 1/4 of it at most. It was definitely way bigger than either of us thought it would be and tbh I’d heard that it wasn’t that great so I wasn’t expecting much lawlllllz but then we walked into about a gajillion booths and almost didn’t make it back out. Maybe it would’ve been different if we’d gone to any of the panels, but we were mainly there for the shopping to see the artists and geekery. There was definitely a lot of lovely geeky stuff:

We also stumbled across this completely random little triceratops:

He turned out to be a candy bucket!

And lunch, which we got from one of the built-in Food Stalls:

Heather was hungry so we ended up agreeing to a quick lunch at Food Stall since that seemed to be the only thing around, but of course after lunch we found a whole line of food trucks on the other end of the hall and realized exactly how hard we’d settled #tableflip (I guess the tater tots were okay………..who doesn’t love $12 tots?)

AND NOW FOR A COMPLETELY RANDOM PHOTO GALLERY CUS THIS IS GETTING LONG AF AND I ONLY MANAGED TO CUT MYSELF DOWN TO 40SOMETHING PHOTOS OF THE 108 I ORIGINALLY TOOK:

And my loot, because you can’t go to a con and not bring back lots of loot:

We saw everyone and their mom carrying this damn backpack tote around and I kinda have a raging obsession thing for bags so I ended up buying one but it was expensive af but one of the other con-goers told me he was handed one at check-in…??? Did we not get there early enough or something?

The pet dragon doesn’t like to stay on my arm but the artist said he could be wound around a lamp so I might stick him on my desk light. Not sure what I’ll call him yet, I feel like I had a name for him at one point but I completely forgot it so it must not have been that great lawlllllll

The only kinda weird point was when I was thinking about buying this necklace, because the guy who was selling it claimed it was an Indian good luck token. I asked him if he meant Native Americans, thinking it was an Eskimo charm, but he said he meant actual southeast Asian Indians which is odd as the charm is clearly a polar bear………? I mean obviously I bought it anyway so I guess it doesn’t really matter but please do let me know if you’ve heard of any polar bear sightings in India cus this is very slightly bothering me (or, better yet, tell me how I can stop caring about it #OCDfordays)

I thought I was going to be more organized about this but LOOKS LIKE I WAS WRONG HAHAHAHAHAHA my life is garbage 😀 Rounding out this shitstorm with more food pics because that’s literally who I am as a person:

NO MORE GALLERIES FOR THIS POST CUS FOOD PICS GET THEIR OWN SPACE OKAY. We made up for the not-really-worth-it tater tots with a lot of excellent Japanese food, including the katsukarē don above :3 I slept over at Heather’s the night before the con, so we went to a donburi place near her apt and it was amazingggggg. Then after the con we hoofed it to another Japanese place (also near her apt) and had even more good food!

Everything at Toryumon was awesome, but the highlight was the chocolate chip ice cream mochis:

So good.

Bonus pic: We found the world’s biggest crayons.

That’s it from me. x____x Looking back, I’m not entirely sure why I had to finish this tonight.

So Over April

Spring has come to Maryland and apparently this is a good thing? I can’t speak for everybody else, but tbh I’m pretty over it because we’re right smack in the middle of The Pollening and everyone’s been sneezing their brains out. The good news is that cute Easter rings arrived in the bakery at work:

My mom said the bunny looks like an egg and dude she’s not wrong 😂😂😂 I’m not sure what I’m going to do with Mr. Bunny, but right now he’s down in the kitchen keeping the owl salt and pepper shakers company. In the meantime here’s more food pics, because apparently this is a food blog now #IAcceptFullResponsibility

Yesterday one of the senior designers wanted tacos for lunch, so she mobilized the rest of us and we dropped all our projects and piled into two cars and ran off to the nearest taco bar. I’d never been to this place, but I see it all the time because it’s fused to the convenience store attached to the gas station down the street from the office. I’m not really sure if it’s actually part of the gas station or not, but either way it’s apparently so popular that by the time we got there there were about a billion people milling around trying to buy tacos. Luckily we weren’t planning on staying anyway, so we got our food and scooted back to work before anyone noticed the entire design department was missing. And after the tacos there was cake, because it was somebody’s birthday and the universe is clearly trying to kill me.

I. REGRET. NOTHINNNNNNG.

In other news I was going to talk a little bit about my progress on The Count of Monte Cristo but it quickly spiraled out of control and ballooned into a huge long rant and I couldn’t figure out how to finish it and I am le tired so that will have to wait for another post x_____x (but seriously I have to finish Monte Cristo because I finally got my hands on The Ghost Bride and it’s by a new  author named Yangsze Choo who sounds literally like my twin and it looks divine and I want to read it nowwwwwww gaaaAAAHHH #bookwormproblems)

This is how fucking inconveniently OCD I am: I bought Choo’s second book before I bought Ghost Bride (meant to buy them both at once but it wasn’t meant to be), but I made the mistake of peeking into The Night Tiger a little bit farther than I should have and I saw a line that looked like a reference to Ghost Bride and now I have to read Ghost Bride before I read Night Tiger because SPOILERS.

And now it’s way later than I planned and I am still le tired, and it’s time for kitty-dragons to go to bed. Good night, world. We’ll rant together tomorrow.

P.S. I JUST THIS MOMENT SAW A GOODREADS REVIEW THAT SAYS GHOST BRIDE IS SPIRITED AWAY FOR ADULTS AND IF THAT’S TRUE I’M GOING TO CRY HUGE TEARS OF HAPPINESS NNNNNRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHH MUST FINISH MONTE CRISTO T_____T

Kitty Paws

After five(ish) years with a 5S, I finally upgraded my phone!

Okay so technically that’s not accurate: I did upgrade somewhere around 2016, but literally only to swap my 16GB 5S for a 32GB 5S. (Seriously, that was the reason.) There’s a number of reasons I’ve been resisting everything past the fifth-gen iPhones, including (1) the missing headphone jack, (2) the missing home button, and (3) the sheer fucking size of every phone that wasn’t my dainty little 5S. Unfortunately that same little 5S decided to stab me in the back by killing its own battery (look, I said I was sorry about all the times I threw it), so I finally got fed up enough to trade it in.

The main problem that I didn’t really anticipate was that I have teeny-tiny kitty paws and this thing is the size of Jupiter wtf

SERIOUSLY I COULD BLUDGEON SOMEBODY WITH THIS GORRAM PHONE WHY ARE PHONES SO BIG NOW THEY’RE LITERALLY MINI TABLETS AND MY HANDS ARE NOT BIG ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH THIS SHIT. The other problem was that I put off upgrading for so long that Apple wasn’t actively looking for my phone model so I only got like $28 for it ;____; I mean that’s better than nothing but considering I got my last two phones pretty much for free it was a bit of a blow. Next time I’ll know better!

Rocky start aside, I love this phone. I didn’t think I’d ever get used to the missing headphone jack and home button but I’ve caught myself trying to use XR-specific gestures on my iPad so apparently I’ve acclimated and I also finally get to use the Totoro PopSocket my friends gave me, which is now one of my favorite things ever ❤️ also I now have a phone that doesn’t scream and kill itself every time it gets down to 31% battery THIS IS SO NICE EVEN IF I DO HAVE TO PLAY TWO-HANDED TEMPLE RUN and of course the first thing I did with the shiny new camera was start photographing my food because #priorities 😀 😀 😀

Last Sunday my parents and I went to a new Thai restaurant for dinner, and it was fucking amazing. We had the curry puffs, wok-charred rice noodles with chicken, squid, and Chinese salted cabbage, spicy fried catfish with Thai eggplant, curry soup noodles with chicken drumsticks (like, literally chicken drumsticks in a big bowl with the soup poured over them), and Thai tea croissant pudding. The pudding was a little too soft for my taste, but everything else was pretty much perfect and I’m currently trying to figure out how I can kidnap all my friends introduce all my friends to this restaurant. If  this keeps up I’m going to be a roly-poly dragon but I don’t even care right now because NOODLESSSSSSSS ❤️❤️❤️