My blog

I have a problem writing in this blog. I start writing a post only to realize that I probably shouldn’t post it after all. So what is the problem?

I’m a very opinionated person. I have an awful lot to say pretty much all the time, and I value my opinions enough to think that other people ought to hear them. I have no problems saying these things when I’m around certain people or in an appropriate forum. However a very public blog on my official website that serves as both my personal site and my professional presence on the web is NOT the appropriate forum for expressing my honest thoughts and views.

Being professional. You know what I mean. The word that comes to my mind is “stiff.” For example, when it comes to being a programmer there’s nothing to be gained by offending anyone or being anything less than an efficient, well-oiled machine. So I keep those opinions to myself.

Society stifles creativity. You have to worry constantly about how your actions and words affect other people. Everybody is sensitive. I am not and cannot be the same person in front of everyone I know in my various personal and professional circles. I don’t know how other people can be the same person all the time… unless they are just quiet and unassuming all the time. But I really don’t think anyone is actually ALWAYS like that.

So when are you being true to yourself? There are times when I deliberately present a very different personality. I used to wonder… who is the real me? But now I believe that I am always me and always have been me. These other sides of me just take over in different situations. But nothing’s wrong with that. People are multi-faceted and irrational. They can strive to be some ideal, but everyone knows that no one is perfect.

Sometimes a person needs anonymity in order to truly express themselves. Either that or they need an outlet outside of the confines of normal society…

Blogs? I choose music.

diary gear music

Korg padKontrol

I thought I wanted the M-Audio Trigger Finger but I just did some research and found out about the newer Korg padKontrol:

Not that I’m any kind of beatmaker but… I WANT ONE!

diary food San Francisco

Beef noodle soup in San Francisco

Since I’ve been here in San Francisco I’ve only eaten beef noodle soup once at a restaurant in Chinatown, and it was absolutely nasty and tasteless! Since then I’ve stuck mostly to chow fun since that dish seems slightly harder to get horribly wrong.

Anyway, my friend Emily — who I met and became good friends with while studying in Taipei — came to visit me from the Philippines today! While we were in Taipei we’d eat lunch together practically every day and almost every single time we’d end up going to the same beef noodle soup booth near school. So naturally I decided that we had to have beef noodle soup for lunch. After spending some time searching on google (I typed in “Taiwanese beef noodle soup San Francisco”) and reading various reviews, I settled on “Tea Garden” in downtown San Francisco.

Tea Garden is a small shop on the corner of 1st and Mission that at first glance seems to be just one of those milk tea drink places “to go” with a few pastries and no real seating — just a small counter with a few stools against the wall and a single small folding table that basically takes up half of the customer area. However they do have a small menu of cooked dishes: some combination of either soup noodles and meat, or rice and meat. Anyway I was there for only one thing and so I went right for item #1, the beef noodle soup (“niu rou mian” in Mandarin) for $6.50. After a short wait it was ready and I went right to eating!

I can’t say that the noodles were anything special (somewhat thinner than spaghetti noodles, though not bad at all)… but the broth was very tasty and exactly what I’d expected! The broth wasn’t spicy at all, which is probably a better decision on Tea Garden’s part since there were no options and not everyone likes their soup spicy (and you can always add your own hot chili sauce, which I did). The beef pieces were also good… really soft. The portion was fairly generous and definitely enough for me!

Although I wish they offered some options in terms of soup spiciness and noodle choice, overall I was happy and satisfied with Tea Garden’s beef noodle soup! I’ll definitely be going back for more.