Honey Garlic Ribs

I found these beautiful racks of ribs one day for sale so I decided to figure out how to make Honey Garlic Ribs. By figure out, I basically just made it up with items I had in the house. We also had a bulk load of honey, so I thought I might as well use it.

3 Year Twitter Anniversary

Today marks 3 years for me on Twitter. I joined the social networking site in it’s earlier years, when most people thought it was just a place for glorified Facebook statuses. In the beginning, I probably was even guilty for using it in that way.

However, I realized it was much more. It was a way to keep up with news, read some interesting stories and last but not least, meet some great people. I’ve met some of them offline who were not just local people, but from different parts of the world. I’ve heard and seen some great music that I would not have otherwise.

If I were to give up one social network, it would be Facebook before Twitter. I will be tweeting for many years to come.

5 Types of Really Unnecessary Tweets

I’m reaching my 3 year anniversary soon on Twitter (@tianafeng) and it has become a valuable tool for information, as well as networking with interesting individuals. Unfortunately with that also comes spam, and clutter of people who post things that are well, unnecessary.

1. Tweets about going to the gym. Unless you work in the fitness industry as a trainer or a blogger, I feel like your followers don’t need to know you are trying to work off that burger you instagram’d 10 minutes ago.

2. Retweeting your praises. I already think you are somewhat awesome if I follow you. You don’t need to keep retweeting how much other people think you’re awesome. Does this raise your awesomness level? No. Remember, people who don’t follow you won’t see these anyway and those that do might see you as an egotistic jerk.

3. Tweets about how much your life sucks. Maybe there is a reason your life isn’t turning out the way you want it to, because you enable it to. Broadcasting it to the world isn’t helping you in any way and shuts the doors to any opportunities that may come your way such as new friends or even job openings.

4. Tweets about your crush or the boy/girl you are stalking. Yes, these exist. Whether it’s the attractive person at the coffee shop, or the friend of a friend, don’t do it. You appear excessively creepy, and maybe that’s why you aren’t in a relationship. Stop looking at Craigslist’s Missed Connections and just go talk to the person. The time you spend tweeting about them can be well spent actually talking to them.

5. Passive aggressive messages to a specific person. Whether this person is actually following you or not, these are very unnecessary. If you have a feud in real life, resolve things offline. The online world doesn’t need to know you hold silly grudges. Besides if you post something stupid like “I HATE YOU!!!!”, someone might mistake it as to them.

Rotis and Gelato Mochaccino

As I previously mentioned, I want to eat at least 25 new things this year. I wasn’t sure about how to go about it, but then I realized Toronto is full of culturally unique restaurants that are worth the visit. So instead of opting for burgers and poutine all the time, I will venture into the unknown.

Yesterday, I tried out Bacchus Roti Shop located in the Parkdale area downtown Toronto. A roti is a type of south-asian wrap but it also consumed in areas such as the Southern Caribbean and Guyana. I ordered the jerk chicken roti which also contained spinach and squash. At $12.50, it was deliciously filling with a fiery kick to it. Nash ordered the shrimp roti with spinach and cheese. It had a nice creamy texture to it.
Bacchus Roti on Urbanspoon

After dinner, we had a ton of time to kill before door times for a concert. Instead of searching for the nearest Second Cup we decided to try one of the local coffee shops. We ended up in The Boreal Gelato Company. I ordered a mochaccino and they made it with a scoop of chocolate gelato! It was had a lovely aroma and chocolate taste. We also got a hazelnut gelato that was to die for. It was like Ferrero Rocher (my favourite chocolate by the way) in ice cream form!

So far my food adventuring has taught me to try new things, because you never know what delicious things you are missing!

The Rest is Noise: New Appreciation of 20th Century Music

The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross is an interesting summary of 20th century (classical) music. I purchased this book in my first or second year of University but was too intimidated to read it. I’ll have to admit, it is written in very flourished language and sometimes I had to look up the definition of some words. If anything, this book has given me a greater vocabulary to become a better music writer. At almost 600 pages, it took me well over a month to read. I purposely read it slowly so that I could absorb and retain as much of it as possible.

The book begins with a mention of Richard Strauss’ Salome and ends with an epilogue that mentions how minimalist influences have spread to the likes of Bjork and Radiohead.

The vividly written narrative highlights the lives of 20th composers; from life to death and their take on each other’s music. They are just like us in the sense that they often don’t understand each other’s music.The book beautifully describes some of the most important works of each composer and the society’s reactions to them. It’s funny because you learn who was in with dictators like Hitler and learn what happened after their reign was over. It dances around everybody who’s helped shaped the 20th century from painters, writers to the events and wars that molded what we are today. In a book about music, I think I learned more about 20th century history than I have ever known.

And if the book wasn’t enough Alex Ross also runs http://www.therestisnoise.com/ which has more to do with 20th century music as well as listening samples.

You Majored in What?- Not Your Average Career Book

As a recent graduate, the process of finding the right career has been quite scary. I heard of You Majored In What? by Katherine Brooks through my best friend and instantly picked it up. It was a refreshing take on job search in a non-linear matter.

As somebody with a Bachelors of Music as well as a degree in Entertainment Business Management, I thought my path seemed pretty linear. However, this book taught me that there are other ways to think. They implement what is called the chaos theory, and how our experiences in life can bring us elsewhere. As a graduate of something non-traditional, I’m always hit in the face with the question, “So, what are you going to do with that major?” and any career aspirations I have are often ones that are really awkward to explain to people.

You Majored in What? offered great advice on creating my own path and ignore what other people think about where I’m headed. It was a motivating book that taught me how to re-frame experiences into learning opportunities, no matter what they are.

There are some great exercises to discover what your true passions are. I found out that besides music, mine were psychology, social media and visual arts. In addition, there was great advice to interviews, resume writing and crafting your own personal story.

The book gears towards destroying the linear career path way of thinking. For example, just because you majored in engineering, doesn’t mean you have to be an engineer. To anybody who thinks they are stuck in a rut job search wise or even if you want to change your career trajectory, this is a wonderful eye opening book to pick up.

I leave you with this quote:

The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different. – Peter Druker

25 Things To Do Before I’m 25

I started this year with the idea that I would do 30 day challenges each month. I quickly realized that they were not for me. There are people out there that have lived fulfilling lives by challenging themselves every day for 30 days, with something different every month. However, in my active and busy life, it became more chore of a chore than a way to inspire and improve my way of life.

Instead I am making a list of goals and fun things to do before I turn 25. Me and my best friend value the word goals instead of resolutions because it sounds realistic and attainable. Here is my list of various learning experiences and adventures to go on before I turn 25:
in no particular order

  • Listen to all 1000 albums in the book, 1000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die by Tom Moon. What’s in this book ranges from things everybody knows to some really ethnic and obscure things.
  • Finish Wreck This Journal. I’m close to half-way done, but I really want to finish it so I can buy the rest of Keri Smith’s books!
  • Reunite with my best friend. She moved back home to New Brunswick when we graduated university. However I hope to visit her there or meet her halfway, perhaps at Osheaga!
  • Get to Level 25 in Prolobe Ear Training Program
  • Read 25 Books and blog about what I’ve learned from them
  • Finish the Google Adwords Certification Program
  • Redesign Ride the Tempo
  • Go on a burger inspired road trip. I just really want to visit the places they mention on the Food Network.
  • Do the CN Tower Skywalk. Anybody wanna go on a walk outside the CN tower with me?
  • Fill my dream journal and reflect on it.
  • Organize a show with artists featured on the music blog
  • Do something athletic. I have to admit that I’m the least active little person in the world.
  • Play 25 new songs on the piano
  • Interview 25 musicians 4 down 21 to go.
  • Get 250 subscribers on Youtube
  • Defeat 25 iOS games
  • Meet 25 new people
  • Eat 25 new things
  • Move to downtown Toronto. I miss the excitement of living downtown!
  • Buy a new wallet. I have had the same wallet since grade 9. It’s pretty broken and manly looking, but for some reason I have never been inclined to buy a new one.
  • Go to a casino. Don’t worry I know my limits! I just have never been to one.
  • Crochet something useful
  • Build an online portfolio site
  • Attempt to write a song
  • Do something inspired by somebody I don’t know This one is out in the open.

Do I Still Use Siri?

The 4S was my first iPhone and like everyone else I was captivated by Siri. Like everyone else, the first thing I did was ask it arbitrary questions.

What are you wearing?

What is the meaning of life

I soon realized that there were limitations to what Siri can do and that the commercials were overly glamorized. Here in Canada location services are unavailable, meaning we can’t even ask where the nearest restaurant is. Nor set location-based reminders.

So, what do I use Siri for?

I’ll tell you that I definitely don’t use it for texting. My message always comes out gibberish and nonsensical. You know how in the Siri commercial the guy is running and telling his iPhone to text a message? That’s impossible. Have you ever tried to clearly say a sentence while running? I don’t have an accent,(at least I’m pretty sure I don’t) but it can’t get my message right when I’m sitting still. To make matters worse, my boyfriend’s name is Nash which always comes out as “mash”.

He is doing the impossible

As a tech nerd, I decided to expand the capabilities by jailbreaking my phone and adding a little tweak called AssistantExtensions. It allowed me to do many things like tweet from my phone. However, for the same reasons as messaging, I don’t use it to tweet. You also can’t edit tweets, so whatever drunken gibberish was typed would send to all your followers.

So, do I still use Siri?

Yes, I do. I use it to set reminders, alarms and timers, mainly because I haven’t actually figured out how to set them manually yet. I also ask for the weather when I’m lazy to google and let it call people when I don’t want to sift through the phone book. However, it doesn’t always reach the right person, resulting in some really awkward phone calls.

Lastly, I use it to open programs. It’s one of the hacked tweaks but it’s quite useful since I managed all my apps into folders and sometimes can’t remember where I put them. If I yell “OPEN FACEBOOK!”, it will do just that. I won’t however do this in public. After all, I still think Bluetooth people look crazy, and I haven’t seen anybody yell at their 4S’s just yet.

Is Nestle C[RAVE] An Ice Cream or A Shake?

When I went grocery shopping last weekend, I found in the sale section, the Nestle C[RAVE]. They were discounted to 50 cents each and came in the shape of the mini ice creams you can buy at the convenient stores. I bought a chocolate one and a strawberry one.

I tried the chocolate one first. It was a soft and mousse-like ice cream. At 325 calories for the entire container, it was a pretty decent tasting. It tasted pretty much like regular chocolate ice cream. Then my sister opened my strawberry and it was completely watery and melted. However, there isn’t very much information on the containers or any of the Nestle websites that tell you it’s supposed to be ice cream. In fact, at the store and online they are labeled as Nestle C[RAVE] shakes. So, was that supposed to be melted?

I am rather confused.

We went back the next day (because they are still on sale), to buy more of them. We figured maybe we picked up one defected one. This time, we squeezed the containers and didn’t pick any that seemed way too soft to be ice cream. Many of them were “melted”. Part of me still wonders if they are supposed to be that way to live up to the shake aspect of the name. We chose to pretend they’re ice cream and went for the more frozen ones.

Does anybody out there know what they really are? If it is a shake, it makes a lousy one. If it’s ice cream, it makes a yummy dietary conscious one.

10 Types of People That Need to Stop Calling My House

Our family is seriously considering cancelling the home phone. With the exception of a handful of people who don’t know how to use the internet, nobody calls the house. The four of us have our own individual cellphones and the only calls we seem to get are the irritating kinds.

Duct cleaning services are by far the worst offender. Every day it’s a different company in the city. How many ducts can possibly need cleaning that requires the need for 100 companies making 25 calls a day? I’m beginning to think that all these companies and phone calls are just a front for something else. I mean, if you did need duct cleaning, I don’t think you would go to the first person who calls you. You’d probably research it first. It’s not cheap. Maybe these duct cleaning calls are a secret message for “Do you want to buy drugs?”