The Water Really Is Real

This blog’s tagline (whatever that is, don’t even know where it shows up), “Try the water Dave. It’s really real” is a quote from Happy Feet. Happy Feet is just about the weirdest children’s movie I have ever seen. Most lame animated movies are lame because the jokes are so cheap (Ice Age, Shrek movies after the first, dare I say Frozen) or the animation is really awful (pretty much all low-budget ones). Happy Feet was just a terrible movie because it had no plot. And then the director George Miller turns around and makes the fantastic Mad Max: Fury Road, which is a discussion for another day.

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I must have watched Happy Feet a lot when I was younger (not sure why; I don’t remember liking it that much) because I have a bunch of piece-meal images of dancing penguins and snippets of famous penguin-fied songs lodged in my head. One of those, is of course, a scene in a zoo where an old-timer penguin tells the protagonist (whose name is Mumble, not “Dave”), “Try the water, Dave. It’s really real.”  I could go on about the uncertain message of the movie (love everyone? everyone’s special? global warming? Mexican penguins?), but I’ll stop here by saying nothing in it made sense.

UNTIL flash back to a month ago when I finally got around to watching 2001: A Space Odyssey and heard the most familiar voice almost halfway through. It took me a good while but I finally pieced together Crazy Penguin = HAL 9000 and Dave = Dave the astronaut guy. I’m aware my realization is not a stretch in any way and honestly I should have figured that out before I even watched 2001, but I was seriously so overwhelmed by all the other strange things going on that I never thought it might be a reference to something. And, I mean, think about it. Whenever a movie makes reference to something else, it weaves it into the dialogue in a way that makes sense. Like in The Corpse Bride when two old-timers, one undead, reunite. The woman says, “You’ve been dead for 15 years,” to which her husband replies, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” That’s a thing that works. “Try the water Dave, it’s really real,” on the other hand, makes seemingly no connections to Mumble’s situation except maybe a commentary on the “fake” water feeling real? It’s a stretch.

Anyway, I just wanted to vent myself (not like I haven’t already. I mean, it’s been months since this happened. Of course I have).

The Water Really Is Real

Resume [imagine accents] Template

I wanted to revamp my resume and since my old one was saved elsewhere I decided to experiment with making my own template on Word. Turns out it’s kind of possible. Later I found out that I can’t even use this for what I’m applying to because I should be using a standard school-specific template but let’s pretend that didn’t happen. Here‘s a rudimentary template that should be pretty easy to modify. It’s probably too cutesy for anything really professional. Whatever.

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Resume [imagine accents] Template

2-D Design Class – Part II

I can’t remember what this unit was about, but here are some sketches that I later painted over. They didn’t turn out well.

The figures by themselves still look pretty cool, though. Just imagine pretty clothes and backgrounds and strawberries-heads.

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All three were painstakingly drawn, erased, redrawn, tossed, rethought, and adjusted in pencil before I traced them in either GIMP or Illustrator (not sure because I never use GIMP and I don’t have Illustrator). I learned that arms are awkward. Hands are awkward. People are awkward.

2-D Design Class – Part II

2-D Design Class, Summer 2015 – Part I

I thought for a while that I wanted to do art professionally, in illustration or graphic design. I’m shooting now for a Master of Accountancy degree, but who knows. Psychologists and Human Development researchers say that adulthood starts around 25, so I still have a few years to fudge around with life.

Over the summer, I took a class for 2-D design and I loved it. The class itself was not a teach-me-how-to-art class, more like a figure-out-what-art-means class. I learned about the idea of significant form and the principles of color and formal structure and all that great stuff. I didn’t improve execution any, but I really believe my sense of good design has grown.

Here’s my example of semi-formal structure.

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in red, brown, teal, and gold cheapo Speedball inks
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ooh, shiny.

 

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overlaid with sharp white boxes in photoshop
2-D Design Class, Summer 2015 – Part I

Holiday Weekend

Thanksgiving break was a welcome respite. I love learning and working, and my classes are all (well, mostly) interesting, but I’m a bit burnt out at this point. School would be approximately 67.53% better if I had quarter classes instead of semester ones.

During the extended weekend I had a great Homeless People’s Dinner with the other people in my apartment complex who didn’t go home for Thanksgiving. The mosaic above of roasted duck is not what my sister and I brought for potluck. That actually happened a week before Thanksgiving and is totally unrelated (though it looks delicious, no?). We brought stuffing and rolls instead, which are decidedly less impressive and photogenic.

My dear friend Fatti (it’s not offensive if I use an “i” instead of “y”) drove down to SLC to visit me and also happened to attend the wedding of a family friend (totally coincidental. she was here for me).

And now, I’m back in school, dreading Finals while eagerly awaiting the end of the semester.

(p.s. Asians got it right: white is death. I don’t think I’ll make it through all the snow and ice and sub-20 days.)

Holiday Weekend

Golden Meat Boats

Chinese dumplings were supposedly made in the shape of traditional gold ingots, but I don’t see the resemblance so much.

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imagine all the seas this ship has sailed

Anyway, my sister and I made some pork and curry dumplings a few weeks back. This is the only dish I know how to make without a recipe. That in itself is pretty cool because cooking and I don’t agree with each other. Below is a rough recipe and instructions on how to wrap those meat ingots.

 

Supplies

a food processor (bigger is faster)

a large mixing bowl

a little bowl of water

a large plate or pan

a pot of boiling water

 

Ingredients

(marvel at my mastery of communication)

half a head of a large Taiwanese cabbage (or 2-3 bags’ worth of shredded cabbage. I usually buy a couple bags of prepackaged coleslaw mix.)

5-10 stalks of green onion (depends on your preference. I like a lot of onion flavor, so I use eight or nine stalks.)

a package of ground pork (no idea about the weight, but it’s just a normal sized pack from grocery store’s meat section. Not Costco-sized.)

a couple slices of ginger (if you’re into that sort of thing)

two packages of dumpling wrappers (available at any Asian food store)

one egg

Instructions

(if you can really call them that)

 

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food-process the cabbage, green onion, and ginger.
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mix it all together. taking handfuls of cabbage mix, squeeze out as much water as possible over the kitchen sink.
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toss in a dash of salt with any spices you want (curry powder maybe?). incorporate defrosted pork. mix an egg in to hold everything together.
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defrost your dumpling wrappers
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now for the fun part! scoop a glob of filling (called liao in Chinese) onto one dumpling wrapper. dip your finger into a bowl of plain water and trace a wet trail along the edge of the wrapper (you can sort of see it on the far edge in the picture).
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pinch the wrapper together in the CENTER ONLY. notice how the sides are still open.

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this part is kind of tricky. fold the right side as shown in the diagram above, with the flaps turned away from you. the second picture shows what it should look like after this step. make sure to pinch everything tightly so liao won’t fall out while the dumplings are cooking.
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repeat the folding process on the left side, flaps facing away.
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ta-da. if done correctly, the dumpling should be fat and cute like so. don’t worry if it’s ugly, though. it will still be delicious!
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keep going until you run out of liao and wrappers. ideally, this should happen at the same time.

Congrats. You’re now a certified dumpling master. The last step is cooking, which I sadly don’t have pictures for. Toss them in boiling water for 10ish minutes or until the wrapper looks soft and translucent. Alternatively, stand the dumplings up in a pan and fry them on medium heat until the bottoms are golden and crispy. Then add a 1/2 inch of water and cook covered.

Now you, too, can be a cool Asian.

Golden Meat Boats

Gone Shootin’

I’m really not a gun sort of person. In fact, I’ve always been a bit anti-firearms because I don’t like the idea of a weapon so out-of-control. I mean, when you stab someone with a knife, you really mean to stab him. With a gun, it’s different. You might not mean to accidentally-on-purpose pull that trigger.

But I went shooting with a group for the first time today, and it was a real blast. I wish I would have taken pictures. Although I still don’t want to own a gun, I’m definitely up for another round of skeet shooting.

Here’s a pretty sea slug to make up for no action pictures.

Because I live in Utah where apparently your neighbors all own guns, I had the opportunity to try out three types of guns:

Shotgun

This is the first one I tried and definitely my favorite. I thought I would be shooting cans or water jugs, but the mentors flung out clay pigeons instead. I somehow hit 4ish/10ish in what must have been a burst of beginners’ luck. Given my history of zero athleticism, mediocre eyesight, and general clumsiness, that’s pretty much the only explanation.

Rifles are also super heavy (and/or I’m super weak). The shooter is supposed to lean slightly forward to catch the recoil better, but I was leaning way back. No way could I hold it up longer than five seconds otherwise. My upper arm and shoulder front are bruised now, but the fun of hitting something while it was moving is way worth that pain.

Rifle

Rifles require a lot of skill and patience, I’m sure (well, not that sure. haven’t watched American Sniper yet). Didn’t see that, though. The targets we aimed at weren’t very far away and the weather was sunny, clear, and calm. I felt pretty epic firing this one, though.

And it’s loud. Like, really loud.

The devil's a-comin'! One more sea slug!

Handgun

Someone told me I was shooting a .22. I’ll take her word for it.

Shooting a handgun was almost cutesy after trying out the big guys. Handguns are also faster and easier than the other too. Disturbingly easy, actually (note: I don’t pretend to be a great marksman. or even a good one). Disturbing as in “wow, you could kill/seriously-injure someone with just that!” So I’m not totally converted.

I got to admit, though, hitting the targets five for five was quite satisfying.

Gone Shootin’