Emily Lam

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wontons!!!

It's Half-Recipe Wednesday!!!
(aka Ingredients only because I suck, for lack of better word, at cooking.)

Today I helped my mother make Wontons. Leek and Chicken Wontons. Mmm, they were delicious! Wontons are what I consider real Chinese food, not the stuff you get at mall food courts. Anyway, I'm going to share the half recipe for them. =]

First, I cut fresh chinese leeks from my mom's garden. (My mother grows in our yard an assortment of fruits and vegetables: cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, peaches, etc.) If you don't grow chinese leeks in your yard, you can probably get these at the local asian market. Next, for me at least, I picked out the dried out yellow ones. But if you bought your leeks at the market, there shouldn't be any dried out yellow ones.

Here's the chinese leeks I collected, dried out yellow ones picked out.
 Then I washed and chopped them into tiny half centimeter pieces.

Here they are washed and chopped.
This next part, I didn't really do anything. I'm like afraid of touching meat. No lie. I know, laugh. But it's true. I'm also much better at preparing than the actual cooking. So my mother did this part. She added ground chicken (we normally use pork but the market my mom went to today was out of pork. We sometimes also add shrimp. But not today. It really just depends on personal meat taste. But no beef! My mother says you can't eat chinese leeks and beef in one sitting. *shrugs* Bad for the stomach or something like that.) Then she added an unknown – to me – amount of salt and sugar and an egg. Mix it all together and it becomes this disgusting looking paste.

Appetizing right?
Next is the wrapping part. I forgot to take a picture of what the wraps look like. But like the chinese leeks you can buy then at a local asian market. Today I set a new record. I wrapped a whole plate of wontons. Normally, I'm just so slow that I wrap probably maybe a handful. I guess 19 years of trying paid off. And sorry, I'm not even going to try to explain how to wrap these. You are just gonna have to wing it.

I wrapped these!

My mother wrapped these.
And then you cook them in chicken broth and eat! =]

It's kinda lacking in soup but that's the way I personally like it. I also like to add black pepper. =]
And that's it for Half-Recipe Wednesday!!!

On another note: My mother also grows strawberries and today I had the best strawberry ever! It's 100% natural. YUM!!! 

This little strawberry was like the size of a penny. But it was DELICIOUS!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Puzzle Completed – YESH!

Alrighty! I completed my puzzle. And just like I expected it is the first of my summer goals accomplished. I am proud. The puzzle took me approximately 16.5 hours over a span of 3 days to compete. And then additional hours and days to glue and dry.

Basically, I wanted to complete a puzzle because I wanted something to decorate my dorm room wall. Last year, the most common comment about my dorm room was that it lacked decorations. I'm not much of a wall decorator. I like then bare. Even a poster of my favorite movie star, Angelina Jolie, and a middle school pennant hangs not on my bedroom wall but on the inside of my closet door. However, I do sometimes have random stickies on my wall. I use to also have a wall calendar but I've since removed it and did not purchase a new calendar to replace it. So, I decided I needed something for my dorm room wall. And being the atypical person I desire to be I decided to complete a puzzle and hang that.

I actually decided on the puzzle idea while I was still at BU. But because the puzzle will be hung on the wall, I felt it should be a reflection of me. So finding a puzzle to my liking took a while. I must've looked at a bunch of stores including specialty puzzle stores. Skylines looked nice but I never saw a Boston skyline puzzle. Castles looked nice too. But they are meaningless to me. Hidden cottages in the middle of the forest were beautiful. But not me. I finally saw this puzzle on the back of another puzzle box and set out looking for it. It is of a Thomas Kinkade painting. While I do not think Thomas Kinkade is anything extraordinary – I admit I'm also not in the know of art – I really liked this puzzle. It's of Central Park in New York – but I will pretend it's of Public Garden in Boston. The reason I like this puzzle so much is because it's the integration of the city and the park. And that's really me. I'm very much a city person. But I also need my green space. However, the major downfall of this puzzle is that it's of autumn and I rather it was of Spring. But I guess I can't be too picky.

Anyway here are some pics of the process and the finished puzzle:

After 5.5 hours

After 12.5 hours

Puzzle drying after applying puzzle glue

Finished Puzzle! =] (Argh, there's a glare.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Goals. =]

I've never been very good at following goals and neither do I try. However, this summer I'm going to change that bit and make modest goals and put in a little more effort in accomplishing them.

Alright, here we go, my five goals:

1. Build a Lantern.
         I want to build a Floating Lantern. Similar to the ones you see in the movie Tangled. They are just so pretty! Here's an example of real life lanterns: a Lantern Festival in Taiwan – I won't embed the video to save space. But it's a short youtube video and well worth the watch. (You know, I want to attend a Lantern Festival sometime in my life.) I plan on making this lantern sometime in July or August. There's probably a fire code I will be breaking . . . But I'm not going to look it up, that way if I do set something on fire I can truthfully say I didn't know I wasn't allowed. Haha, my mom HATES when I play with fire.

2. Practice Piano.
         I can tell you that one of the saddest thing for a pianist or any player for that matter is to not be able to play something you once could. It's so depressing. But you know what, it's kind of easier relearning. And I will relearn! So this summer I have made a list of pieces I want to relearn with a few new pieces tossed in for good measure. You should join me! And it doesn't have to be piano. (Especially, You – we still need to finish our duet: Corpse Bride Piano Duet.)

3. Read/Write.
         I have this huge, long list of books I want to read eventually and my goal – I really just don't like the word goal – for the summer is to tackle part of the list. I know I won't accomplish reading all the books on my list. It's a long list . . . So if you want to join me in summer reading, please do. We can have book club-esque discussions. (I want to reread all seven Harry Potter books before the last movie. =[) Writing is something I enjoy and will do primarily here, on this blog. I'm not exactly sure what I want to do with writing but for now, blogging is enough.

4. Complete a puzzle!
         I have already started this! I think this will be the first of my goals that will be finished. When I have a project with a concrete finish, I become immersed in it and determine to finish it. I noticed this when I completed projects for school. I have an ethnic where I must do a good job and also continue working on it until I no longer can,  sacrificing sleep among other things. I literally had to pry myself away from the puzzle last night. It's summer I shouldn't have to work into the next day. I will have a whole blog post on this as soon as I finish but here's a picture of what I have thus far:


5. Learn A Skill.
        I feel like it's an obligation of mine to learn a new skill this summer. I am a student and I love absorbing information. I really do. When I don't know something: I wikipedia it. I also feel like this skill should be somewhat related to my career direction: engineering. So I think this summer I will learn HTML web programming. Let's see how far I get on my own . . .

Alright there are my five goals! =] *FingersCrossed*

Btw, did you notice what time I posted this post? (Hint: Check the Google Icon for today's date.)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer Job!

[Ahhh! I was suppose to post this on June 15th. But I have a tendency to not finish blog posts in one sitting, so therefore it's posted today. On the other hand, Raw Thoughts, a new category, are unpolished/unedited, usually brief, posts, I write in a one sitting, often dazed, emotional burst, which happens rarely because I don't usually write when I'm in an emotional state. (And if I do, I don't usually share.) That's probably why this post took so long to write; I was pretty excited on the 15th.]

It's official! I have a summer job! Well, I've known I would be working this job for while now but it's official in the sense that I have inked the contracts. I will be working at UMASS Lowell's Design Camp as an Assistant Teacher. I have been upgraded from teacher's assistants to assistant teacher. They're like the same words but in different order and cases. CooL! I am just so exited for this opportunity! I am excited because normally this position is offered to middle school teachers, teachers that have degrees! I have none; I'm still an undergraduate. I feel so fortunate, lucky, honored, to be hired amongst the teachers. And I truly appreciate it! Thank You, Design Camp!

I keep thinking this is the first work contract I've signed but it's not. I've worked before. I tutor part time at MIT/Wellesley's Upward Bound Program while at BU. But I guess I keep thinking this is my first job because it's my first job pertaining to my career. I've always known that in order to be successful in any career you have to start at the bottom. And this job is my stepping stone. But then again it's not my first engineering related job. It's just so weird how I keep thinking this is a first when clearly it's not and something came before it. I was a high school intern, aka teacher's assistant, for Design Camp for three years prior. And now the only thing I can think of that makes this job any more firstly is that it's the first job I will be paid over ten dollars an hour to work. It feels like I've won a scholarship which it kinda is. Because what I will use this money for is of course my college tuition. I'm having the time of my life in college and I believe college is worth every penny because the experience is priceless.

I think there's another reason why this job just makes me so exuberant. Initially, I was not going to be working at Design Camp this summer. Design Camp had a high school internship program but there was no college program. So while the director of Design Camp had tossed around the idea of hiring me and a peer of mine, considering our experience – along with the high school internship, I use to be a camper at Design Camp – it didn't seem likely it was going to happen. I'm just really glad it happened. This job ultimately functions as recreation that will keep me competitive in the engineering field, provide money, and buy me time to think about my engineering career. And I get to work with kids. =]

I think background information on my mental state pre and post job offer is also worth telling.

Entering college, I was a direction-less undecided freshmen fresh-mess. I was in a personal slump. And then I became overwhelmed by my ambitious peers and frustration that I was undecided. Fortunately – there it is again, luck. Thank You – I talked to my writing professor and she helped me a considerate amount, giving me very good advice. One thing for sure is that I became more introspective because of her and I realized yes I was meant to be an engineer but no not the kind medical savvy New England thinks. I'm still figuring out exactly what my engineering path is but I have a feel for what it is . . . Anyways, I decided in order to be a competitive engineer, I needed an internship or some engineering-related job. I can't just spend my summer idling around. I became determined to fix up my resume and put myself on the market. So I head to the CDO (Career Development Office) and get my resume looked over. That night, I was offered the assistant teacher job. I know this is a huge coincidence but I feel it just can't be a coincidence. It can't just be a coincidence that the day I decide to get my act together, I was offered a job. I know it sounds lame, like one of those kids shows: the moral is etc.  But seriously, I think of this as not a faith kind of thing but a this is how luck works kind of thing, believe it as you will. But everything still depends on your effort.

My writing professor, Fantasy Writer Theodora Goss, explains it better: Check It. And Randy Pausch sums it up in a couple of words: "Luck is where preparation meets opportunity." Which I believe he quoted like many others from Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger.

Things have just been going very well for me! It's unbelievable. I feel so lucky. And with the high I'm on right now, I feel like I really have a good chance of accomplishing my dreams. I know for a fact there will be hard times and I look forward to every experience. I feel my life will be lucky. =]

Also among the other lucky things that have happend to me, I have also been featured in a brochure. I'm on the centerfold. Yay!! Check it out!

I feel very fortunate. Thank You! *Fingers-Crossed!*

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Raw Thought: emily

Often times when I don't know what to write but have a huge desire to put pen/pencil to paper, I write or draw my name, emily. It's weird. I know. It's like I'm lost and the only thing I really know is my name. Sometimes I just want to write something that is defining of the moment and all my self-centered self can think of is my name. The irony is that my name is a very common name and has no real special meaning behind it. I mean it's no Isabella which has beautiful sneaked into it or Faith or Hope. It's not even an old or royal name like Elizabeth. It's just a very popular name of today. Yet no one famous, on my attention radar that is, goes by that name. Okay I lied. But I love my name. And I'm proud to be an emily. Wouldn't trade it for the world.

Monday, June 13, 2011

When not solemn . . .

I'm a particularly happy person. =]

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Lego Watch

I did something either really stupid and childish or just plain childish: I had my mom get me a lego watch for my birthday – my birthday was last month but since I was away at college, nobody at home celebrated it. I just really wanted the lego watch. It reminds me of my childhood, my lego days. It's also colorful. The watch makes me happy, despite it being plastic and in some way a toy – it was sold in the toy section. LoL, I'm a flake.


Anyway, I like to have things on my wrists. I guess to weigh it down. *shrugs* Normally, I wear a watch on my right hand and a charmless Italian charm bracelet, popular in the early 2000s, on my left hand.  I've always worn a watch; I can recall wearing a watch everyday as early as second grade, seven years old. It was a pink Minnie Mouse watch. There was a period where I went through a new watch every year. My favorite during that period is a five dollar, light blue, Walmart watch with it's trademark happy face on the face of the watch. Although most of my old watches are lost, I do still have parts of most of the watch bands – my wrist is obnoxiously small so a part of the band always needs to be taken off.

The watch I currently wear is Tissot. I got it for my fourteenth birthday. I was really ungrateful about it too, let's just say it wasn't my ideal gift at the time. But that's the watch I wear everyday and I'm really grateful for it now. It's a Tissot watch, so that means it's automatic – no batteries needed – and the face, some sort of crystal glass, is scratch resistance. As of now, the watch band shows a lot of wear and tear but the face is still scratch-less. Even with the new lego watch, this watch will remain my everyday watch.

Sometime in high school, I noticed lefties wore their watches on their right hand and righties on their left. Therefore, I started wearing my watch on my right hand to go against the norm. I guess that's my inner desire to be unique kicking in.

Well, there you go, an impromptu blog of my watch history.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Feeling Unwordy

Pictures taken June 1st:

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Nice Guys

This song has just been stuck in my head for the past hour . . . I have no idea why, asides from it being really catchy. It's Nigahiga, Kevjumba, and Chester See. Enjoy! (This is the Kevjumba version. There are Nigahiga and Chester See versions on youtube. Check them out.)

The Youngest in the Neighborhood

I saw a little girl today. She was fictional, in my mind. But nevertheless, I saw her. She wore a pink matching outfit with Dora the Explorer on it. And she was jumping rope with a smile on her face. Well, she was until her mother walked out the front door of their home.

I overheard: 

"Jamie, why aren't you playing with your sister."

Jamie. So that's the name of the little girl.

"I don't want to," Jamie replied. 

"Why not?" the mother asked.

"She's playing hideandgoseekfreezetagteam."

I smiled, I haven't heard someone say that since I don't know when. But it's been a while.

"Hidey-what?" the mother asked. I snickered to myself. My mom said the same thing back then.

"Hide-And-Go-Seek-Freeze-Tag-Team." Jamie said and resumed jumping rope.

"Oh," the mother replied. But I could tell there was still a hint of confusion in her voice. "Is she playing with the rest of the neighbors?"

"Yeah, Carla, Jay,  Noah, Jenny, and Ann."

"You should join them," the mother encouraged.

"I don't want to," Jamie shrugged. "I rather jump rope."

"By yourself?"

"Yeah."

"But, don't you want to join your friends in hideyfreetag?" the mother edged.

"Not really. They already have even teams. And I'm slow."

"You're not slow. You're just little. You could be on Bonnie's team." I guess Bonnie is the name of the older sister. "She'll help you."

"Really, mom, I rather just jump rope." I could tell Jamie was getting frustrated at her mother.

"Okay," the mother said giving up.

I watched the mother go back into their home. And Jamie just continued to jump rope with a smile on her face. 

She jumped ninety-nine continuous jumps before she missed. But she didn't look frustrated at all when she missed. I guess I was the only one keeping track then, because if I were her and I knew I jumped ninety-nine continuous jumps, I would be, at the least, slightly frustrated that I didn't make it to hundred. 

Jamie just continue to jump rope with a smile on her face until I stopped imagining her. But if I did imagine her again, she would be jumping rope with a smile on her face.

But I wonder, was Jamie really happy?

I wish I knew. In my own experience, I remember being slow. I remember even teams. I remember not playing with the rest of my neighbors. I remember playing by myself. But I don't remember whether I was happy or sad.