Heading towards 29

I am approaching 29 shortly, and I totally don’t like it…times flies!

Time seems to be slowing down these past few years once I started working, and nothing too exciting have happened except got engaged. My student talked about the “quarter life crisis” (I’ve never heard of it) with me today, and I think I am in the middle of it for sure. According to Wikipedia, these are some characteristics and I put down a % to show how much I feel true about the statement:

* feeling “not good enough” because one can’t find a job that is at one’s academic/intellectual level – 90%
* frustration with relationships, the working world, and finding a suitable job or career – 80%
* confusion of identity – 20%
* insecurity regarding the near future – 40%
* insecurity concerning long-term plans, life goals – 60%
* insecurity regarding present accomplishments – 80%
* re-evaluation of close interpersonal relationships – 50%
* disappointment with one’s job – 70%
* nostalgia for university, college, high school or elementary school life – college 80%, high school 0%, elementary school 70%
* tendency to hold stronger opinions – 60%
* boredom with social interactions – 70%
* loss of closeness to high school and college friends – 80%
* financially-rooted stress (overwhelming college loans, unanticipatedly high cost of living, etc.) – 30%
* loneliness – 50%
* desire to have children – 0%
* a sense that everyone is, somehow, doing better than you – 70%

Do you have the same feeling about your life?

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Free Rice Game

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Home Baked Christmas Goodies

I’m not a baker, and is extremely anxious about my relationship with the oven, flour, baking powder…

But!

I decided that I am going to make home baked christmas goodies for my fiance’s family.  My own family doesn’t care much about Christmas, and we certainly are not big into gifts.  So it is a bit of headache when I have to prepare Christmas gifts!  In the past years, I either was not here (out traveling) or I have said “No Gift Thanks!”.  I am afraid of people giving me stuff that I don’t need/want, so I prefer not to get them so I don’t feel like I have to do the same in return.  It didn’t work too much, I still received a lot of gifts I guess just out of habit.  I do however bring small gifts even when I said “No Gift” for being polite when visiting their house during the holidays, but it never was something big.  This year, I decided to challenge making my own goodies, just because I want to become acquainted with baking.  I am not going to challenge something really crazy to make, but I do want it to be shelf-stable and easy to munch on, and of course, yummy.

These are the ideas I have so far:

- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (who doesn’t love them?)

- Almond Crisps (the receipe can’t be simpler!)

- Bread Pudding (ok, this may be a dish on the dining table, but again looks simple)

I have bought some tins and is ready to get to work!

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Are you stuffed like a turkey?

I spent Thanksgiving evening with my fiance’s family.  A 20 lb of turkey, plus the standard side dishes like mashed potatoes, squash etc, and 3 pies!  I ate just enough because I knew how easy it would be to overeat, and I was glad that I stopped at where I was.  I love to eat, but I am also quite particular about what I eat.  I don’t really watch my weight or go for the fat-free stuff when I cook/eat, as long as it tastes good, I’ll eat it.  However, I will make sure that I don’t overdo it.  I think for anyone wants to lose a few pounds, the key is to monitor eating, not to restrict.  What’s the meaning of life if you have to eat tasteless boiled vegetables?

There were of course plenty of leftovers to be taken home.  I made turkey fried rice on Friday for lunch, and maybe this can help you if you also have turkey that is waiting for a new recipe.  I don’t usually measure things so make up your portions here:

1.  Rice has to be cooked the night before.  A little on the dry side is preferred for frying, and jasmine/long grain rice is ideal.

2.  Get the turkey out of the fridge.  Use a knife or hand to tear it up into small bite size pieces.  Put some salt and pepper and mix well.  If you find a few chunk of fat/grease under the turkey skin, put it aside.

3.  Crack some eggs in the wok with a little oil and scramble it up nicely until all the little egg pieces are cooked and maybe a little golden brown.  Put it in a bowl.  If you like onions you can dice some up, and brown them now.  Also put it in the same bowl.

4.  Put the grease/fat into the wok.  You want to force the oil to come out, so use medium to medium high will be great.  After the fat/grease has turned brown and crunchy, take it out (or eat it!).  Throw the rice, a little bit at a time, into the wok and fry it with the turkey oil.  It will take a while, but make sure to fry it evenly.  Add salt to taste.

5.  Put the onions and eggs in, stir the fried rice well, then put the turkey pieces in and fry it for another 3 to 5 minutes or so. Put some chopped green onions in as well.

6.  Turn off the stove.  Scoop the fried rice into bowls, and sprinkle the top with chopped green onions.

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Maui

maui-052

Just got back from the trip to Maui and boy it was a very beautiful, primitive place.  We drove (well, ok, it was my fiance actually) on the one lane roads that went across the crater and around the island.  I must say I was a bit scared because the road is really narrow and both directions were travelling on one lane, but we got to see places where other tourists usually wouldn’t go.  We camped all the way, met a lot of very nice local people and got a great slice of Maui.  We saw the sunrise, moonrise, waterfalls, crater and rainforest…it was a lot of outdoors and close encounter with nature, and I think we did it quite complete in the short 4 days we had.

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It is getting cold here!

I thought we would get our first real snow (it snowed in late Oct once, but nothing sticks), but we haven’t which I am happy about.  However, the temperature has dropped to about 32 degress F, so it’s that time to get the hat, scarf, gloves and coat out every time.  I also have a big coat filled with geese down feather that will be used when the temperature drops more…

So glad that my mileage run is coming up in a few days, where I get to see the sun again (hopefully, since the forecast seems to indicate a lot of rain).  Oh yeah!

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Mileage Run

I am currently UA’s Premier member and need around 9,300 miles to keep my status for 2009, so I have been paying a lot of attention on fares to see how I can get the miles with the least amount money. My original thought was it would take $750+ to do a few domestic trips (as a reference, ORD – LAX is 1745 miles one-way, 3490 miles round-trip), and I was not sure whether I want to do that because first of all, I am currently out of ideas where to go (been to most major cities already), secondly, not sure if the miles I got worth the value!

Here is where mileage run can help. For the budget minded traveler , http://www.flyertalk.com is a great place to go. It will take a few weeks/months of learning the glossary of the FTers use, and to get a hang of how to construct your own mileage run. The idea is of course to get the most miles out of an itinerary by routing it through as many places as possible, with a low price. I have been observing the site for a while and finally was able to pull something off…I’m going to Maui, Hawaii for a few days in the middle of November for only $460 RT! A normal ticket would cost $600 – 900 to go there, I felt pretty good about that and getting close to 9,600 miles. It would be a little risky on the way back, as I routed the trip through many cities, but my fiance has decided to join me and I think it would be very fun doing this together and banking up miles for our wedding related travel.

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