I Met Some Of My Best Friends On The Internet

Love these peeps 😘

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It would’ve been super weird to say maybe a few years ago, but I met some of my best friends on the internet. I thought it would be very hard to revamp the friend wheel post-school but the web makes it so much easier to find people with similar interests. Often you know what they’re like before you even meet up in person.

But how do you hang out in real life? you may ask. It can start with an invitation to coffee or a meet up with a group of people. The web has made going up to randoms a little bit easier with the phrase, “Hey, I follow you on Twitter!”

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Put That Phone Down

The coat check people told me to take this home. Wtf does this key open? #jazzcartier #secretshow

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Yesterday I went to a Jazz Cartier secret show as an invited guests. Other people cryptically texted a number in a photo and went through a series of clues to get in. As soon we entered, we were told there was no photos or video to be taken. No snapchat or anything allowed.

“Aw crap,” I thought as I had come to this event alone, not knowing if anyone I was familiar with would be attending. After-all it was an exclusive event.

We walked up the stairs to people dressed as hotel stewards, who took our names and coats. On the tables were typewriters as well as roses. The setup was elaborately thought off for the album launch. I absorbed it all in with my eyes instead of my phone.

I had a bit of anxiety trying to figure out what to do since I didn’t see any of my friends around and I couldn’t have a camera to keep me distracted before the show started so I started to talk to people and met some new folks.

I’ve been in the industry for a years now but I still get anxious talking to new people. I’ll have weird thoughts like what if they hate me? or am I wearing the wrong shoes? or how do I not talk about the weather? Like all things, these diminish with practice and I do want to get better at it. The easiest thing is to go somewhere where no cameras are allowed, failing that, just putting the phone down for a little bit is enough.

Letting Myself Be Distracted

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One of my favourite ways to inspire creativity is to let myself be distracted. It’s harder for me than you think because doing nothing makes me anxious. Some of my best ideas come when I’m not doing anything!

I loved this Kanye tweet so I put it up at my desk at work.

Kintori Yakitori Tasting

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Recently I had the pleasure of being spoiled at a Kintori Yakitori tasting. The place specializes in chicken skewers (of essentially every part of the chicken). Ramen from it’s downstairs sister Kinton Ramen can also be ordered.

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Our meal began with a soothing Chicken Soup. It’s perfect for a cool day and not as salty as regular miso soup.

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My first drink was a Cassis Peach Oolong which was a nice palette cleanser between skewers.

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The Oshinko Moriawase is an assorted housemade japanese pickles. Each piece had a slightly different taste and salt.

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The Negima (chicken thigh & skallion) was tender. I added spicy flakes for flavour.

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Zuri (chicken gizzard) was a bit strange and chewy so not for the faint of heart.

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Nikumiso Kyabetsu was a cabbage salad with house made chicken miso dip.

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The Tebasaki (chicken wing) would be a hit with every fried chicken wing fan.

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One of my favourites was the Uzura Kushi Age, panko breaded deep-fried quail eggs.

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I never thought Sapporo and lemonade with be super delicious!

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Their skewered beef tongue was so good that I wouldn’t even have thought it was tongue if no one told me!

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For those afraid of crazy parts the regular chicken meatball (Tsukune) was super satisfying.

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Hatsu (chicken heart) was a bit chewy.

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Reba (chicken heart) was a flavourful hearty bite.

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Who can resist deep fried asparagus wrapped with bacon?

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This Negi Shio Gyu was a beef with delicious scallion sauce.

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The Dashi Maki was a fluffy omelette.

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I was getting super full but this Yaki Onigiri (char-grilled rice ball with plum filling and teriyaki) was an interesting blend of salty and sweet.

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Once again we were blessed with the green tea creme brûlée, which I could’ve eaten 10 of!

If you like skewers, Kintori Yakitori is definitely the place for you to try every part of the chicken (and much more). Or if you’re a frequent Kinton Ramen (in Korea Town) visitor, you can order from both menus on both floors.

This meal was complimentary but views are my own. 

Let’s Talk About Mental Health

It’s no secret here that I talk openly about mental health. Every January, I have participated in #BellLetstalk, a campaign where Bell will donate 5 cents to mental health programs with every tweet that has the hashtag. There’s a lot of people out there who are rightly critical about the corporate agenda, but as I spoke last year, one day is better than none.

I would’ve killed to feel less alone in 2009, to read the tweets of thousands of millions of people who were in similar situations. It would’ve been wonderful to read the tales of how some overcome their illnesses or how others live with them. I shared my own battle with anxiety here. There was a period of time where I thought exiting this world would be easier than staying in it.

Thankfully, I am still here and willing to share my stories so that I can save someone else’s life. That’s why this day is important. If somebody reads a tweet and it saves their life, even if it’s one person, even if it was because of a stupid corporate hashtag, it is worth it in the end.

This Month’s Vinyl Me Please Package!

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This month’s Vinyl Me Please package is an exclusive pressing of Nada Surf’s album high/low in 150g orange vinyl. It also contains an 8-page books with lyrics and photos, poster and of course a cocktail pairing.

Excited to see what is in store for February! I love this monthly gift of music.

Adjusting my Photo Goal

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I had previously set a goal to take a photo a day for 2016 and upload in tookapic. I did this for approximately 47 days in a row and decided that this wasn’t the best challenge for me. I wasn’t proud of my output and it became a game of quantity over quality.

Taking a photo a day isn’t as easy as blogging. With blogging you can have a catalog of ideas that you write later. Taking a photo a day requires going out and doing stuff often and something that is unrealistic when I work 9-5. Sure, I could take photos of things on my commute and at home, but that becomes stale fast.

Instead, I decided to stop uploading to my tookapic account. I pledge instead to take more thoughtful photos when inspired. Where I upload them shouldn’t matter, plus that’s what this blog is for. That way I only have one daily goal (which is to remain blogging every day) and still have enough time in my day for relaxation and exploring all other creative avenues. I’ll still take my cameras everywhere I go. Taking a photo a day was starting to stress me out and create work that didn’t inspire me.

At first I considered stopping a failure of my resolution but in reality, it’s perfectly fine to adjust your resolutions to fit reality.

Morals Village Hot Pot

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Near opening week, my friends and I hit up the newly opened Morals Village for All You Can Eat hot pot. The place is small and despite a reservation we still had to wait. I thought it was kind of weird they had a “waiting room” instead of transforming the space to seat more diners. We were a party of 5, but we didn’t feel like waiting for a gigantic table so we settled on a 4-person table that only had one burner for a large pot. While it would’ve been fun to try multiple broths, one pot worked for our group. We had a mushroom broth on one side (one of my friends was vegetarian) and a pork broth on the other.

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One thing that drew us here was the sauce bar. There truly was a wide selection of sauces you could mix and match. Also at the sauce bar were unlimited amount of spring rolls and eggs you could crack in the hot pot.

There’s a 3 hour limit for AYCE and we used most of it up. We spent a lot of time waiting for orders of items that never came and eating beef that we totally didn’t order (we noticed after the 5th time someone brought us a plate exclaiming “beef”). I brought up to the waiter that we suspected that our orders were going to this other table because we’d see things they didn’t want being sent back to the kitchen. There were definitely service issues that needed to be figured out.

There was a wide selection of things to eat and things that I haven’t seen on hot-pot menus before like cheese filled meatballs (yum!). We were happy with the things we did receive but I felt bad for my vegetarian friend who never received the broccoli we tried to order 3 times. There were plenty of vegetarian options on the menu but they never quite made it to the table. The rest of us filled up on a lot of beef.

 

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Dessert was complimentary soft-serve ice cream! It was a lovely palette cleanser.

Our experience with Morals was very mixed and if it wants to survive needs to tighten up its service.

Morales Village Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Happiness and the Importance of Relaxation

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I’m a crazy anxious person who usually can’t sit still without thinking of what productive-seeming thing I should be doing. Writing, creating, reading, cooking, cleaning etc. It’s super hard for me to just sit down to watch Netflix and nothing else. Even then, I’m checking my e-mails on my iPad or editing photos at the same time.

However, lately we’ve been hooked on Making a Murderer and now I’m glued to the screen and have to concentrate on every little detail. I guess the trick to relaxing is finding the perfect distraction.

Taking the Goodreads Challenge!

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I’m taking the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge. I set myself at 52 books which sounds insane but I’ve already read 4 and apparently that is two ahead of schedule! I’ve generally been reading a lot of autobiographies of famous people. Not seen on this list is Aziz’s Modern Romance and Mindy Kaling’s first book which I read in the last week of 2015 and am not counting.

Reading on my commutes (with my sadly broken Kobo) has taught me that I can get a lot of words in while sitting on the train. I haven’t let technological setbacks stop me from reading (I immediately bought an iPad mini). What are some of your favourite books? I’ll add them to my list of to-reads!