Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tamarind Duck Tacos and Death Sauce

I have an affinity for dishes like this. I think it has something to do with my identity issues. 

Imagine peking duck with a lightly spiced red sauce and wrapped in little tortillas. White mantao bao bread (featured in my novel) has always been a favorite of mine, so the ones you see on top with the fried tofu in the middle were very satisfying. They did, however, come with 'death sauce'. I hope that's not indicative of the sodium content of the sauce. I guess that's real ninja food. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pig's Blood Anyone?

When I can, I like to stop by Class 302 in Rowland Heights, sit in desks like the ones my parents used as kids in Taiwan, and order some classic Taiwanese bento and snack dishes. This place has amazing drinks and shaved ice desserts, too.

Be forewarned. The pigs blood is deceptively labeled as "rice cake with peanuts" or something in English even though the Chinese on the menu clearly indicates that it's pig's blood.

I mention a lot of food in Phoenix Mountain mainly because I have so much good food around me all the time. I think it's also a result of watching so much Japanese anime, a genre which often quiet scenes of tasty foods.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Fish

The Fish
by tinabot

There once was a fish in a bowl
That jumped out and cracked his soul
He realized that day
He never had a say
In what he could live in at all

Friday, May 14, 2010

Peanut Butter Mochi...because we can.

It's delicious. Especially with tea.

LA Food

"They say we'll kill them off, take their land, and go there for vacation." 
- Rage Against the Machine, 'Darkness'

When you live in LA, you get food from all over the world within a 100 mile radius. Recently there's been a huge boom in the "roach coach" genre of food distribution, and the most extravagant of them all is the World Fare bus which is a double decker diner on wheels with an upstairs you can stand around on and munch on your food.

The Good: The 'bunny chow' curry etc. in a bread is pretty tasty. We ordered one of each, as you can see in the picture. Drinks were okay, and the lemonade is better than the orange.

The Bad: Apparently Bunny Chows began because British imperialists shipped Indians from India over to South Africa to work on golf courses, and because those Indians had no breaks in their work days, friends would bring them the Bunny Chow compact curry in a bread (story is plastered on the bus itself). Now we've got a bus driving around selling Bunny Chow which in a sense double exploits those oppressed Indians. Also, when you stand on the roof and another bus drives by, the exhaust pipe blows right into your face.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chinese Civilization Channel

There's so much free content on the internet, but only a small percentage of it is quality content. On YouTube, I found these excellent high definition videos about Chinese history and culture. I immediately began to fervently create a playlist based on it. Be warned, these videos are mostly in Chinese, but the Chinese Civilization Channel also has some programs in English. Either way, the images are beautiful and the traditional Chinese music enchanting.  I haven't seen all these videos yet, but when I feel like taking a trip to the East in the comfort of LA weather, I watch this YouTube channel and brush up on my Chinese.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Taiwanese American Mother's Day

Much of the inspiration for writing The Legend of Phoenix Mountain came from my parents, especially my mother who loves studying Asian history, culture, and language and has passed that passion on to me.

For Mother's Day, I offered to take my mom out to any restaurant she wanted, and she chose to have a nice, big, stench drenched block of stinky tofu stewing in its own fermenting juices. (Click on the image to link to How To Make Fried Stinky Tofu on E-How).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

First Steps to Publishing My First Book

"What are you waiting for? A certain shade of green?" - Incubus

The Legend of Phoenix Mountain is a dream come true for me in so many ways. I've always wanted to write a book, and finally it's done. I've always looked forward to reading a story like this one, and so now it exists. I've dreamed of making an impact on the cultural landscape of humanity's literary and conceptual heritage, and here's a big first attempt. I planned to make some noise as an Asian American voice, and here's my first big shout.

Now I embark on a journey to publish and promote this debut book. Although I have high hopes for its reception, I know I'm in for a long haul of lonely hours sitting at promotion tables and days that go by without a copy sold. Positive or negative, I'm looking forward to people's responses and interpretations of what I've written. If no one loves it, I know at least I do, and above all, I hope that those who read it will find that it gave them something to think about. ^_^

-- tinabot